CATHERINE WELCOMES DECISION TO EXCLUDE BABY AND TODDLER GROUPS FROM GATHERING LIMITS IN ALL COVID TIERS

Catherine McKinnell, MP for Newcastle North and Chair of the House of Commons Petitions Committee, has welcomed the news that the Government has updated Covid-19 guidance to exempt baby and toddler groups from gatherings limits in all tiers.

The change follows a landmark report from the Petitions Committee which looked at the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on new and expectant parents and their children.

Commenting on the announcement Catherine said:

“I’m delighted that the Government has finally responded to our call on behalf of parents and updated Covid-19 guidance to exempt baby and toddler groups from gatherings limits in all tiers.  This is the right decision – albeit long overdue.

“The Coronavirus pandemic has been a struggle for everyone but it’s been particularly difficult for new and expectant parents and their families.  We know from the compelling evidence we heard as part of our inquiry just how important baby and toddler groups are  – providing much-needed support at what can often be a challenging time.

“This victory is a testament to the hard work of petitioners and campaigners who first raised this issue and I am delighted to have worked alongside them to ensure there is more support available for parents during the pandemic.”

The Committee’s inquiry into the impact of Covid-19 on maternity and parental leave was prompted by a petition, with more than 238,000 signatures, which called for maternity leave to be extended in light of Covid-19.