Public Health: Coronavirus Regulations

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:14 pm on 13th October 2020.

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Photo of Thomas Tugendhat Thomas Tugendhat Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee, Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee 5:14 pm, 13th October 2020

My hon. Friend is absolutely right on this. What we are looking for is the consistency to know that, over the next two, three, or perhaps five years, we will have to live with this virus and perhaps without a fully effective vaccine. We need a system that people can rely on, can know what they are doing and can be able to plan their lives, because, at the moment, it is off the bus, on the bus, off the bus, on the bus. For those of us who have served in uniform, we know how much time that wastes, we know how much time that takes, and it makes it so much harder not just to plan for weddings and, sadly, for funerals, but to make even simple investment decisions. Even those areas of the economy that are not closed down suffer because of the lack of predictability.

I ask the Government to think very hard about the decisions that they are taking, to devolve as much as possible locally so that those who are in closest touch with the populations that they are elected to govern can make the decisions, to follow the track and trace and to understand the effects of the virus locally, and, on a much wider scale, to come up with rules that can actually be relied on not just for a few weeks, not just for a few months, but, sadly, possibly for several years.