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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 6:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:30 pm
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Location: 1066 Country
Coronavirus: Taxi driver says 'lack of clarity' is causing frustration

A TAXI-DRIVER says there are huge frustrations over the "lack of clarity and uncertainty" as the area has been placed into stricter lockdown measures.

Self-employed taxi driver Danny Guest says it feels like "we are back to square one" and says the impact of the restrictions are having a massive spillover effect economically.

St Helens has been placed in Tier 3, the highest level of restrictions by the government. The restrictions placed on areas with a Very High Level Tier 3 can vary, and are based on discussions between central and local government.

Baseline restrictions for Level 3 include pubs and bars requiring customers purchase a substantial meal or they must close and gyms; leisure centres; betting shops; casinos and adult gaming centres to close.

People should not mix with anyone not from your household or support bubble socially inside or in private gardens, hospitality or certain ticketed venues and residents are advised against travel outside the Tier 3 affected area, except for things like work, education and transit journeys.

Those in the affected area are advised against overnight stays in other parts of the UK and people outside of the area are advised against overnight stays in the Tier 3 area.

Danny, who drives with AtoB Taxis in St Helens, said: "Hospitality is a big part of what we do, it has a big role to play in the overspill economy.

"I have friends who are door staff and, coming up to Christmas, it's not looking good for them.

"I think a lot of the issues are that things are uncertain and there is a lack of clarity over what is happening. I think there is a lack of leadership locally and nationally.

"There is a lot of flip flopping, calls for lockdowns and then saying they are going to be devastating, but the WHO (World Health Organisation) have come out and said we shouldn't be using lockdowns as the primary strategy for controlling the virus.

"We only just survived the first and we are having a second lockdown in eight months."

Danny said there is a "lot of frustration" in the community which he puts down to the "lack of clarity".

He said: "There's definitely a lot of frustration locally, we are back to square one and it's clear speaking to people that there is a lot of frustration. From where we were in March, it seems slightly mishandled again. I think the frustration lies with the lack of clarity and certainty, especially when this close to Christmas.

Danny, 31, added: "And I think there are other questions to be asked, they accepted a lockdown but not accepted the financial package.

"In the first lockdown many councils had issues with payments from central government which weren’t what was originally promised.

"That’s why any lockdown financial packages should have been agreed in principle or with conditions prior to accepting any restrictions."

Danny, from Sutton, added: "The one message I think people need to hear is that taxi operators will be operating and, as in the last lockdown, supporting key workers on any essential journeys. Taxis will be operating."


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