THE Bradford Chamber of Commerce says "appropriate support measures" need to be in place for sectors affected by a delay to the final step of lockdown easing. 

The Prime Minister is expected to tell the nation this evening that the road map easing earmarked for June 21 in England will be delayed for four weeks to July 19.

It is likely to mean that pubs, restaurants, cinemas and many other venues will continue to face limits on numbers and distancing restrictions, while nightclubs will remain shut.

Suzanne Watson, President of the Bradford Chamber of Commerce, told the Telegraph & Argus: “If, as expected, there is a delay to the final step of lockdown easing, there needs to be appropriate support measures available to those sectors and their supply chains still affected. 

"Certain sectors of the economy continue to be severely damaged by lockdown, possibly long-term, and all areas of business and industry need to be back up-and-running as soon as possible."

She added: "That said, we understand the difficulties caused by the different emerging variants of the pandemic and the difficult balance between protecting health and supporting the economy.”

The move has prompted fury from some, including Shipley MP Philip Davies, who said today: “I am frustrated beyond belief that the Government is planning to extend the lockdown restrictions which are an unjustified assault on our freedoms and are doing untold damage to many businesses and people’s livelihoods."

He added: “I am incredibly angry about this and will continue to do all I can to see common sense prevail and have our freedoms returned to us. It is about time the Prime Minister trusted in his Conservative instincts and let us get back to normal.”

The latest figures show Covid-19 cases in Bradford rose by nearly 86 per cent in the seven days to June 9.