I believe that the measures proposed by the Government are reasonable and proportionate to slow the spread of the virus while balancing this against civil liberties. In particular, I believe that the 10 pm closing time is appropriate as part of the package of measures designed to strike that balance, and that the data and evidence, as outlined by the Secretary of State, show that it is actually proving effective in curbing the spread of the virus. It is of course a compromise, but one that allows the hospitality industry to remain open for business while including restrictions to curb the virus in the areas of greatest risk. It is also important to remember that all these measures are kept under constant review and seek to respond to the latest data about which steps are most effective in curbing the spread of the virus. I am much encouraged by the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s recent announcements of increased financial support for sectors such as the hospitality industry that are most affected by the restrictions.
I speak in this debate as the MP for a Welsh constituency, Clwyd South, which borders England, and therefore the decisions taken in Wales are the responsibility of the Welsh Government. I strongly support the Westminster Government’s introduction of a new three-tier system that is much more targeted than the Welsh Government’s current local lockdown by county. Currently, 80% of Wales is under local lockdown. I very much hope that the Welsh Government will follow the Secretary of State’s more targeted approach, as outlined in this debate, particularly with regard to the district-by-district approach in areas such as High Peak. That is what we need in Wales. Having witnessed the blanket approach in Wales, which in my constituency does not distinguish between different areas of infection within counties, nor between different levels of infection, I strongly support the Secretary of State’s graduated and sustainable three-tier approach.
I fully support the Government’s measures before the House today, which are proportionate, balanced and represent a collective approach to ensuring that we do our very best to protect others in the fight against coronavirus.