Covid-19 Update

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:50 pm on 12 July 2021.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion 3:50, 12 July 2021

I join the Secretary of State and other colleagues in deploring the appalling racism shown against a football team who have shown the absolute best of our country.

The Secretary of State says that caution is absolutely vital, given the soaring infection rates. I agree, but if caution is absolutely vital, why is he weakening the measures to deliver it? The message around face masks on public transport, for example, has been downgraded from being a clear legal requirement to being an optional personal choice. As more than 100 scientists and medics said last week in a letter to The Lancet, this is reckless and risks driving up infections. He asks, “If we do not open up now, then when?”. The answer has to be: when a far higher percentage of the total population is vaccinated; when basic public health protection such as test, trace and isolate is properly functioning; when people can afford to self-isolate; and when measures such as air filtration systems are in our classrooms. Frankly, the Government seem to be pursuing a Darwinian strategy, relying on immunity by natural infection. Does he realise how dangerous that is?