My Lords, this instrument provides for enabling measures to reduce the public health risk caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is most important that regulations on face masks, hand washing and self-distancing in public places such as bars and restaurants be observed; it is common sense.
Covid is a deadly virus that is airborne and very contagious. We have all seen the sudden spikes in Birmingham and other regions and towns. Science informs us that a second wave of the disease is imminent, as seen in other EU countries. Lives can be lost—we have seen this in the USA—if the citizens of England do not comply with the regulations. The new rule of six has had to be introduced to avoid the spread of the virus. The regulations also require that singing in bars and restaurants be stopped and only recorded music be played. The regulations have introduced fines of £10,000 for those who a fourth or subsequent fixed penalty notice.
It is the duty of the Government to protect our citizens from such deadly diseases as Covid-19. The relevant Minister, in consultation with local authorities, must have the power to introduce closures and lockdowns wherever there are pockets of coronavirus cases. Hospitality industry businesses will be hit hard because of the lockdowns. People will lose jobs, which will lead to homelessness because of their inability to pay rent. This is a vicious spiral that will create poverty and mental diseases. The only way to reduce this hardship is for citizens to follow the rules.