Coronavirus: Disease Control

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 16th December 2020.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 3 December 2020 to Question 121227 on Coronavirus: Disease Control and with reference to paragraph 7.41 of the Explanatory Memorandum to The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) Regulations 2020, what the evidential basis was for the Government's assessment that there was likely to be widespread non-compliance with stringent covid-19 restrictions over Christmas 2020; whether he holds modelled data on the estimated number of additional deaths from covid-19 infection arising as a result of (a) potential non-compliance with stringent covid-19 restrictions over Christmas 2020 and (b) the loosening of covid-19 restrictions as set out under those regulations over Christmas 2020; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Nadine Dorries Nadine Dorries Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies is clear that because major celebrations represent special or unique occasions for participants, COVID-19 related behavioural norms might be relaxed or suspended as a result. Their advice is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/spi-b-key-evidence-and-advice-on-celebrations-and-observances-during-covid-19-5-november-2020

The absence of, or non-compliance with, restrictions over the Christmas period could allow COVID-19 to grow exponentially. A Christmas ‘bubble’ is a sensible and proportionate way to enable people to spend time with others over the festive period, while limiting the risk of spreading infection.

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