These are incredibly difficult decisions, but I wholly support them, because the evidence from all over the world is that acting early and decisively is the best way to save both lives and jobs. It would be perverse in the extreme if we were to take our foot off the pedal so close to rolling out the vaccine.
However, may I first ask the Secretary of State about the new strain? He said that it is highly unlikely that the vaccine will not work with a new strain. When will we know for sure? Are any trials going on? Will he get more up-to-date scientific information anytime soon?
Secondly, may I ask the Secretary of State for clarity? With just 11 days before Christmas, lots of people will be thinking about Christmas shopping. From Wednesday, will it be against the regulations for those living outside London to go to Oxford Street to do their Christmas shopping? Will that also be against the regulations for those living inside London? Is the only way legally to do Christmas shopping now to go online?