Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:37 pm on 15th September 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 12:37 pm, 15th September 2020

I have looked very closely at the situation in Sweden, and the challenge is that Sweden brought in significant laws curtailing social activity and that the population in Sweden followed more closely more than in almost any other country in the world a lot of guidance that was not enforced by law. The case rate in Sweden was also higher than in other geographically comparable countries.

The conclusion I have come to is that the approach we are taking, where we look around the world, learn from similar countries and take action where necessary, is the best way to control the virus and protect the economy. The rule of six is designed to try to restrict the transmission where we see it happening most, which is in social circumstances, and to protect the economy as much as possible by keeping the economy open within those social constraints. We are constantly vigilant and we are looking around the world for other examples of where we might be able to make changes. As my hon. Friend knows, we have made changes to our approach as we have learned throughout this unprecedented pandemic.