Michael Fabricant

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Calls for the two metre social distancing rule to be relaxed have been questioned by the MP for Lichfield and Burntwood.

Reports in the national media suggest Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under pressure from some MPs to reduce the gap people must remain apart to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

But speaking to Health Minister Edward Argar via video link to the House of Commons, Conservative MP Michael Fabricant told Parliament that caution was needed.

“May I say how surprised and delighted I am to hear that so many colleagues, on both sides of the house, are now experts in epidemiology.

“The Minister will be aware that in the United States, Sweden, Belgium, Germany and now China there has been a resurgence of COVID-19 and that if we were to make any moves too soon to reduce social distancing, nobody would thank us, including businesses, if we had to return to a hard lockdown.”

Michael Fabricant MP

The Health Minister replied: 

“It is right to say that this is about conducting this review so that we have the best scientific and economic evidence – and so that we can make the right decision at the right time, and when it is safe to do so.”

Health Minister Edward Argar

Following the debate, Mr Fabricant said he recognised why some felt the social distancing should be scaled back, but said the county needed to recognise the dangers of a second wave of infections.

“I am well aware of the urgent need for social distancing to be reduced to enable pubs, restaurants, retailing – and the economy as a whole – to return to normal.

“But until the chances of a major return spike in infections can be minimised, we need to exercise caution about doing anything that could increase the chances of contagion, particularly as we now seem to have COVID-19 under some degree of control.”

Michael Fabricant MP


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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  1. Finally, something approaching common sense from our MP. I was beginning to lose hope that the MP that a big majority of us have happily voted for over the years was starting to lose his grip.
    I still do not understand why there is such a difference between his statements in parliament, which sound like an experienced professional, and the stories I’ve seen on here based on his social media statements which are so ill-judged and not the sort of language I would expect from our MP.
    He does not seem to realise that wherever he is speaking, ultimately his audience is always the same. Its us, the people who voted him into parliament and allowed him to take up this position of responsibility.
    Based on the reports that come via social media he would not get my vote again. But when he concentrates on being the experienced and professional politician he is, you can see why he has the support of the majority of residents.

  2. Perhaps the MP can have a word with the Health Minister about the 2m distancing guideline? The footage from the Commons today suggests either we have all been doing social distancing wrong these last 3 months or Matt Hancock has no concept of what 2m actually is.
    Or, of course, if could just be further proof that this Government has not got a clue what it is doing.

  3. Maybe Mr Fabricant can have a word with the Health Secretary – no social distancing in the HoC, he was even patting a colleague on the back today. Some example to set.
    Could he also comment on this track & trace app which isn’t due until November now. Most successful countries didn’t unlock until that was in place.
    My household had decided to remain at home until that app was in place because no one is social distancing any more and we still have more deaths here than Europe as a whole.
    But another 5 months…what are they playing at. It isn’t good enough.

  4. My family and I have also been responsible during this pandemic and lockdown.

    I have had to explain to my children why they could not go out. Even when their friends were all playing outside. Going to each others houses. Having BBQ’s…..

    That is why the infection numbers have not dropped to the levels they have, in countries where they actually had a proper lockdown.

    Shielding will end in July. The government medical advisers, no longer want to appear at the daily press conferences. The government are looking to blame the scientists.

    People have such short memories. I am still trying to stick to social distancing. Very few people are now.

    When the second wave comes. It will be everyone elses fault. I really wish people would use common sense.

  5. Michael Fabricant is absolutely correct. The population is now suffering lockdown fatigue and might not now be prepared to comply with social distancing. The virus needs new hosts to survive. Any oppertunity to infect will need certain criteria. Distance is one of the crucial one. How far can you breath out? We share the breath of most of those surrounding us in normal circumstances. At two metres this is relatively safe at one meter it is not. Other factors are involved, like still air, and breathing more aggressively after excercise. If you can’t stay in keep your distance. What Fabricant has said is a responsible observation.

  6. Philip Allso – what he’s said is common sense but as the MP what’s he actually going to do about it?
    It’s all very well telling us here to be cautious but how about raising his concerns with the actual govt.
    And lobby them on the tracing system which has been a game changer is successful countries.

  7. I don’t disagree with you Kitty. Problem is a large number are now ignoring the social distancing. We hear a lot about track and trace but few (if any) reliable statistics are available.
    Strangely cases seem to be falling without obvious cause. Either distancing has been working or perhaps it is decreasing spontaneously.
    It is still dangerous. Basic precautions are still the best defence. Wishing it away or thinking we have it under control is not reality.
    They have politicised a national disaster which is simply pathetic. In these circumstances I will credit Fabricant for expressing doubts about premature easing of social distancing ( in parliament) as I feel this represents the greatest risk.
    Incidently, the midday news has just stated that test and trace is having limited affect. There is nothing worse than false hope!

  8. Law of Least Effort: Fabbo’s motto.
    And, remember, all the while he’s been supporting a government that has continued with its unconcerned ‘herd immunity’ fallacious and malign outlook, and indeed for a month (largely April) demanded the unloading of elderly patients from hospital into the care homes, a policy that might better be characterised as ‘herd slaughter’.

  9. Well I just saw tonight’s episode of Govt u-turn of the day.
    So the reason tracing isn’t working well is obvious. If you’re on a bus or let’s say a protest or statue-in & you pick it up from another they won’t know how to contact you. D’Oh!
    Then the app has been abandoned after weeks because, as any 5 year old can tell you, Apple doesn’t like non-Apple things.
    So actually we’re having about 10000 new cases a week in England.
    It’s a half-life, you’ll never monitor it properly like this.
    And I’m really really angry about it. None of this needed to happen. The govt is absolutely inept.

  10. Having just been into the town centre I can now understand why the public are confused over social distancing. A lot of notices including those around the Market presumably put up by the council say. 2 metres open brackets six feet close bracket apart. 2 metres and 6 feet are not the same some one needs to go back to school

  11. Thank you again for your good sense. A sensible and well judged point, skewering the unchanged epidemiological evidence and lack of effective treatments. Note the answer was economic! Oh, two meters and six feet are near enough. Different ages grew up with different measurements and an approximation is needed not a silly precise equivalent that no one can picture. My experience is that few people have a spatial awareness of the current two meters and often pass by within half that distance.

  12. David J 2 metres is 6 feet 6 inches or a tall man. I was brought up on imperial so know what 6 feet 6 inches is I also know what 2 metres is. A measure is either right or wrong. If you purchase fuel at my garage I will give you near enough a gallon or litre

  13. Well done Michael something we agree on ,although your party at the start of this had a choice the economy or health as it happens it sacrificed both

  14. Mike, the idea was not that we got a tape measure out and measured exactly 2m, it was guidance of an approximate distance.

    Do you really think people are anxiously shuffling backwards and forwards 6 ins because they aren’t sure of the exact measurement?

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