Search

Norfolk parents divided over Dominic Cummings’ controversial lockdown travel

PUBLISHED: 13:13 25 May 2020 | UPDATED: 20:28 25 May 2020

Dominic Cummings outside his London home. Photo: David Mirzoeff/PA Wire

Dominic Cummings outside his London home. Photo: David Mirzoeff/PA Wire

Norfolk parents are divided on the issue of Dominic Cummings’ cross-country lockdown travel for childcare as reactions range from empathy to outright disgust.

Dominic Cummings. Picture: PA Video/PA WireDominic Cummings. Picture: PA Video/PA Wire

Robert Fryer, a Dereham resident, has two small children - one with special needs.

He is also a full-time carer to his disabled partner and works part-time as a delivery driver in the evenings.

He said: “To say I’m disgusted at the recent revelations would be an understatement.

“With the schedule I have I’m usually dependent on ad-hoc childcare from my parents. But to fully comply with the guidelines, we‘ve had no physical contact with them since lockdown began.

Hana Kromerova is a single parent living with her daughter in Norwich. She said she felt annoyed that she chose not to lean on family members when she was showing coronavirus symptoms given that Mr Cummings' actions suggest this was Hana Kromerova is a single parent living with her daughter in Norwich. She said she felt annoyed that she chose not to lean on family members when she was showing coronavirus symptoms given that Mr Cummings' actions suggest this was "obviously allowed". Photo: Hana Kromerova

He added: “If I’d known that the very people responsible for drafting the rules were paying no mind to it then neither would I.

“It would have been incredibly convenient for me to pack up and move to mum’s, or rely on her for childcare, but we refrained from this to minimise risk to others.

“This news spits in the face of parents of special needs kids who have been struggling so very much during this time.”

Likewise, Hana Kromerova, who lives with her 9-year-old daughter in Norwich, said Mr Cummings had broken “clear advice” issued by the government.

Faye Kett said she and her daughter had been isolating since March 16 and had only left the house for an urgent hospital appointment. She said she had given up Faye Kett said she and her daughter had been isolating since March 16 and had only left the house for an urgent hospital appointment. She said she had given up "everything" to take care for her daughter duing the course of the pandemic. Photo: Faye Kett

She said: “The government was clear that you should stay at home and isolate for seven days if you have symptoms and 14 if someone else in the household has them.

“There was no clear advice given in case both parents get ill, or even one parent if they are single.

“I too suffered with symptoms and could not travel to my family because I listened to what I was instructed to do.

“My view of the situation is this: ‘If he was well enough to travel 260 miles away, surely he was well enough to take care of his child’.”

A protester writes out a message outside the north London home of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's senior aide Dominic Cummings , as lockdown questions continue to bombard the Government after it emerged that he travelled to his parents' home despite coronavirus-related restrictions. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA WireA protester writes out a message outside the north London home of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's senior aide Dominic Cummings , as lockdown questions continue to bombard the Government after it emerged that he travelled to his parents' home despite coronavirus-related restrictions. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Faye Kett, a mum from Norwich whose daughter has a rare genetic disease, said that she had made many sacrifices as a parent in lockdown - and that while she made the decision to stay indoors with her daughter since March 16, others had been acting “selfishly”.

“I have given up my jobs, my degree and the care I get to help her”, she said.

But there were also parents in support of Mr Cummings’ decision to travel to the North East for childcare.

Elizabeth Betts from Norwich said: “I have an autistic child. If there was the very real possibility that I was going to be seriously ill then I would have driven anywhere to ensure the correct childcare was in place.”

Many agreed, with social media users saying they would “drive to the ends of the earth” to protect their child and that “family comes first every time”.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Norwich Evening News. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Norwich Evening News