Watch the latest Anglia Late Edition - the regional politics programme covering issues affecting the East of England presented by Political Correspondent Emma HutchinsonThis programme was transmitted in the ITV Anglia region on Thursday 15 July 2021
Conservative MP and NHS doctor Dan Poulter has told Anglia Late Edition that is "wrong" to think the lifting of coronavirus restrictions on Monday 19 July will be irreversible.
Dr Poulter told the programme: "It's going to be a difficult winter and the idea that this is irreversible is frankly wrong in my view and we need to lower expectations in that respect."
He said: "In my view we should be very careful.
"I would like to see the government mandate some level of restrictions, particularly mask wearing. And we're going to need a booster programme of vaccinations during the next few months."
The government is moving to the final stage of lifting all legal coronavirus restrictions on Monday and opening up remaining businesses, allowing large gatherings and allowing people to decide whether or not use face coverings.
It is urging caution and says there is the expectation that face masks will be used in crowded situations.
Dr Poulter warned that we will probably have a bad flu season this winter with other respiratory viruses.
He said: "It is going to be difficult and we can't see the NHS overwhelmed.
"We don't want to see the NHS hamstrung further in its ability to deal with cancer care and acute care because it's focussing on the pressures in A&E and intensive care.
"We have got to be prepared for that difficult winter and, if necessary, to reintroduce restrictions."
Find out more about the coronavirus data in the ITV Anglia region
ITV News Anglia Political Correspondent Emma Hutchinson was joined on the programme by three of the region's politicians:
Dr Dan Poulter was elected the Conservative MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich in 2010. He has been a health minister and continues to work part-time as doctor in the NHS
Daniel Zeichner was elected the Labour MP for Cambridge in 2015 and is a shadow minister for food, farming and fisheries
Baroness Sal Brinton is a Liberal Democrat peer and was the party president from 2015 until 2020.
Anglia Late Edition also discussed the online racist abuse of England footballers following the Euro 2020 final on Sunday.
The programme debated the accusation by former Ipswich Town player and now England international Tyrone Mings that Home Secretary Priti Patel had "stoked the flames" by calling the taking of the knee by England players 'gesture politics'.