Amendment to the Motion

Part of Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Obligations of Hospitality Undertakings) (England) Regulations 2020 - Motion to Approve – in the House of Lords at 12:08 pm on 9th October 2020.

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Photo of Lord Moynihan Lord Moynihan Conservative 12:08 pm, 9th October 2020

My Lords, Members from all sides of the Chamber will want to congratulate the Minister and thank him for his commitment and dedication to his work, undoubtedly under considerable pressure. A fast-moving current is the most difficult to navigate, as I know all too well from many years on the boat race course. These regulations are no exception to that rule and may last only until Monday. This debate has highlighted the need for clarity of messaging and the importance of avoiding excessive detail around decibel levels and who can dance with whom, under what circumstances. These details undermine the authority of clear consistent messaging, based on common sense. Unless the guidance and advice are clear and reasonable, the messaging will be lost, as will political will and public support.

The hospitality sector clearly meets the criterion of increasing social engagement and, as a result, potential transmission of the disease. However, it is much safer to have a meal or drink in a well-ventilated, clearly spaced, screen-divided, socially distanced restaurant or bar than in residential settings or when supermarket shopping. As I saw again last night, substantial groups of people were gathering and moving in close proximity along pavements. People, not socially distanced nor with their faces covered, were congregating outside venues closing simultaneously at 10 pm. If the Government are committed to stay with the 10 pm curfew and the measures before us today, they need to demonstrate the scientific evidence that supports them, which has not been forthcoming.