Covid-19 Update - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:58 pm on 6th July 2021.

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Photo of Lord Bethell Lord Bethell The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 1:58 pm, 6th July 2021

My Lords, I completely concur with my noble friend’s analysis. This is an opportunity for the economy to bounce back, and I am really encouraged by everything I hear from the private sector in terms of the energy, enthusiasm and resilience of the UK economy. The large number of people who will be holidaying at home this summer provides one shot in the arm for the hospitality industry, which I know it is taking advantage of.

When it comes to borders, we have to be careful. One does not like to think about it, but the existence of millions and millions of people with the disease today means that the possibility of further variants has to be on the agenda. That is why we take it one step at a time, and I pay tribute to those in Border Force and the managed quarantine scheme for the work they have done. It is ironic that the variant delta, which started in India, is now so prevalent in the UK that it is possible to think about India coming off the red list. But there are variants elsewhere that we have to be wary of.