CLACTON MP Giles Watling will “reluctantly” support a four-week extension to Covid-19 restrictions.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday that the planned lifting of England’s remaining coronavirus restrictions will be delayed for up to four weeks.

It means lockdown measures could stay in place until Monday, July 19 as the PM warned the Government’s roadmap must be “irreversible.”

Mr Johnson made the decision in the face of a surge in Covid cases around the country.

In Tendring there were 27 new cases in the seven days to June 16, giving the area an infection rate of 15.7 cases per 100,000 people - an increase of 58 per cent on the previous week.

There have been 571 Covid-19 related deaths in Tendring since the pandemic started, but the last death recorded in the district - within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test - was on May 9.

As the restrictions are extended it means limits on numbers for sports events, pubs and cinemas will remain in place, while nightclubs will stay shut and people will be asked to continue working from home where possible.

Downing Street has left open the option of ending restrictions on July 5 if the data proves drastically better than expected, but has conceded this is “unlikely”.

Mr Watling said he was not inclined to support his own government on this issue, but having watched the PM’s announcement and the subsequent scientific advice, he will reluctantly approve the further four-week extension.

He added: “While I respect those who point to the dangers of new variants, the data shows that the vaccine continues to work.

“To restrict liberty is something you do only when there is acute risk.

“The risk, thanks to the vaccine, is no longer as critical as it was when I supported lockdown in the face of hospitals which were over capacity. Therefore, restrictions continuing is hard for me to justify.

“We police by consent, and with these facts in mind, my sense is that the consent of the people is now becoming exhausted.

“In addition, restrictions are not without harm. I’ve spent a lifetime supporting the economic and community hubs that are theatres and pubs.

“Restrictions harm them greatly. We cannot postpone life in the face of every blip.

“So, another four weeks and then freedom. I believe that we as a society must take that leap.

“Clacton depends on the tourism and hospitality sector hugely – we must support those benighted businesses. I feel opposing a further extension is what I must do in the name of people’s livelihoods.”