Covid-19 - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:49 pm on 15th July 2021.

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Photo of Lord Bethell Lord Bethell The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 1:49 pm, 15th July 2021

The noble Baroness makes her points extremely well. I support the ban on smoking in public places for exactly the reasons she describes. However, I do not support a mandatory, legal ban on sneezing, although I do not like people sneezing in my presence. We have to strike a balance between mandation and voluntary arrangements. We also have to choose the right people to make these decisions. Central Government cannot make every single decision on every single matter. I recognise the concern of both the public and of noble Lords in this Chamber about masks. It feels right to leave it to local decision-makers, politicians and companies to take the public with them and to enforce this measure which, I entirely agree, is of benefit to us all.