The girlfriend of a Thurrock man who said Tier 4 was a ‘right touch,’ as he wouldn’t have to see his mother-in-law at Christmas has revealed her mum can see the funny side.
Simon Parker got the nation laughing this week, despite Boris Johnson announcing millions of people’s festive plans would be cancelled by tightened Covid-19 restrictions.
Mr Parker was filmed during a vox-pop in Essex, on BBC news last night. He told the reporter: ‘It’s a bit of a touch really because I was meant to go to the mother-in-laws. But I ain’t got to go now so it’s a right touch. See you later.’
Tonight his girlfriend, Becky Sanders, told MailOnline: ‘My mum is absolutely fine she found it funny she knows exactly what he is like.’
The man (pictured), whose name is unknown, was filmed during a vox-pop of the public in Thurrock, Essex, on BBC news last night
Boris Johnson revealed swathes of London and the south east of England were going into a new tough set of restrictions during a press conference on Saturday night.
What areas are in Tier 4 over Christmas?
Surrey (excluding Waverley)
The boroughs of Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings
All 32 London boroughs and the city of London.
Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough
Essex (excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring).
He said: ‘I know how much emotion people invest in this time of year, and how important it is, for instance, for grandparents to see their grandchildren, for families to be together.
‘So I know how disappointing this will be. But we have said throughout this pandemic that we must and we will be guided by the science.
‘When the science changes, we must change our response.’
The Tier 4 rules closed non-essential shops and banned families from meeting up over Christmas – forcing thousands to cancel their plans to meet up with up to three households in a bubble for five days over the festive period.
Elsewhere in the country Christmas bubbles can only be formed on Christmas day, rather than from December 23 until 27.
The number of recorded coronavirus cases in Thurrock jumped by 987 over the weekend – as 6,546 people tested positive, the Thurrock Gazette reported.
The area has the highest infection rate in England as analysis shows Thurrock is experiencing the fastest spread of infection, with 1,841 new cases recorded in the seven days to December 16 – the equivalent of 1,056.0 cases per 100,000 people.
This is up from 387.2 in the seven days to December 9.
His face broke out into a grin as he revelled in his new Christmas plan to stay home amid a rapid rise in coronavirus cases
Simon Parker gave the reporter a thumbs up as he headed on with his day after telling the news team ‘it’s a right touch’ to stay home for Christmas
What are the new Tier 4 rules?
The Tier 4 rules will be essentially the same as the blanket lockdown that England was under in November.
Non-essential retail must close, as well as leisure facilities, and personal care such as hairdressers.
However, places of worship can stay open.
People in other Tiers will be advised not to go into the highest bracket areas, while residents of Tier 4 must not stay overnight in lower infection spots.
Tier 4 restrictions apply in London, Kent, Essex, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Surrey, Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings, all of which were previously in tier 3.
Hancock suggested the tougher measures – which require about a third of the population of England to stay at home except for essential reasons such as work – might stay in place until vaccinations become more widely available.
‘We’ve got a long way to go to sort this,’ Hancock told Sky News.
‘Essentially we’ve got to get that vaccine rolled out to keep people safe. Given how much faster this new variant spreads, it’s going to be very difficult to keep it under control until we have the vaccine rolled out.’
On Saturday Professor Chris Whitty told a Downing Street briefing there had been a ‘really dramatic’ increase in the proportion of cases seen with a new variant.
Screening tests suggest that in the South East of England, 43 per cent of the virus was now the new variant, in the East it was 59 per cent and in London 62 per cent.
The new strain is thought to have spread along a corridor from Kent to London, before seeding in the capital and then spreading to the Home Counties via commuter routes. The Office for National Statistics estimated that 567,300 people had Covid last week, up from 481,500 seven days earlier.
The mutations of the coronavirus has caused changes to the spike protein on its outside (shown in red), which is what the virus uses to attach to the human body (Original illustration of the virus by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
But not everyone was disappointed by the cancellation of Christmas, as a vox pop of Londoners revealed last night.
Viewers took to social media to share their amusement at the man’s positive attitude towards a quieter Christmas.
One said: ‘I agree with him. I aint seen my mother n law since February. Result. Boris is doing a fab job. If we can make it to the summer that my family and I don’t have to see her till 2022, that would be top dollar.’
Viewers took to social media to share their amusement at the man’s positive attitude towards a quieter Christmas, while others were less than impressed with his attitude
Another added: ‘Bet he will get a clip when she sees this.’
One wrote: ‘I had an easier time understanding people in Scotland than this guy. Something about his mother in law???’
Another wrote: ‘Believe me, there are many up and down the country who are actually secretly relishing a quiet Christmas.’
One added: ‘Brilliant! … Once I understood what he said!’
Others were less than impressed, as one said: ‘How sad that so many will use Covid as a welcome excuse not to see elderly relatives. Who would want to be married to this charmer…’