My intervention during the debate on the Public Health: Coronavirus Regulations, 13 October 2020

Sir John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): How long do the scientists think we will need these lockdowns for, and what is their exit plan?

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Mr Matthew Hancock): We have seen the exit plan from local lockdowns. For instance, in Leicester, where we had a firm local lockdown, the case rate came right down. We lifted that and we have sadly seen it start to rise again.

The case rate is determined by the amount of social mixing, and it reduces during a lockdown. In some parts of the country where the case rate has continued to rise, there is an argument for further ensuring that we do not reach the level of contact that is at the root of the virus spreading. The challenge is how to calibrate the lockdown to get the virus under control while doing the minimum damage to the economy and to education.


  1. Lynn Atkinson
    October 14, 2020

    Does Hancock not see that he has admitted defeat ‘it came down during local lockdown so we ended that and now it’s rising again’.
    If he proposing permanent lockdown he must say so, and we can decide where to incarcerate him.

    1. sam
      October 16, 2020

      we were to lockdown for two weeks to ‘flatten the curve’. soon we will continue lockdown to ‘save the planet’ and starve ourselves to death. This is a total farce

  2. Zorro
    October 14, 2020

    Typical non-answer apart from admitting that these lockdowns are a waste of time and do nothing apart from delay and cause poverty and economic misery. Well done our Dreaded Health Commissar Mat Hang Kok….


    1. sam
      October 16, 2020

      real scientists and doctors who are not part of the agenda are now banding together with evidence of this fraud that is being perpetrated upon the people.
      It is not scientific to rely soley upon one mathematical modeller with a projection that has not been submitted to peer review and is not published and who has been wrong many times in the last 10 years. Folow the money. Who funds Imperial College and PHE and all those calling to keep the lockdown going?

  3. Stred
    October 14, 2020

    Hancock is allowing universities, schools, shops, restaurants, and gyms to continue, even in his red light zones. The first two and households have been identified as the most common areas of infection spreading. It is even in the initial report that brought about lockdown with a statement that success in the first lockdown will mean that fewer people are immune in the autumn. In effect the government is going for herd immunity suggested by the Declaration but they seem to have forgotten the part about shielding the vulnerable. Does he realise this or does he think he is being a strict headmaster?

    1. Fred H
      October 14, 2020

      I think other business in red-light zones has seriously diminshed – but then I wouldn’t know for sure!

      1. Stred
        October 15, 2020

        Han Cock is not banning it providing masks and distancing rules are followed.

  4. Sir Joe Soap
    October 14, 2020

    Let’s know who’s catching it, age/occupation/places visited, where they’re catching it, pub/club/shop/hospital/care home/university/multi gen home/2 gen home?

    Let’s then break those figures down to which of those get seriously sick and which die of it, not with it.

    Then we can more easily make judgements about our own vulnerability and that of others.

    Persuasion, calibration, and all the other preventative actions are like will o the wisp when there is no decent data for people to act on.

    1. Fred H
      October 14, 2020

      Oh dear you are asking for evidence. That approach rarely works – best to try to trap someone into admission by mistake.

    2. sam
      October 16, 2020

      you know no-one is dying s they are not reporting daily deaths any more but ‘cases’ (which are just positive PCR tests-not the same thing). You bet if there were deaths it would be blasted out over every media outlet ad nauseum

  5. Everhopeful
    October 14, 2020

    Um…so if you return people to normal,
    the virus will behave normally,
    and infect people?
    Some will be ill, some won’t, a few may die but all the time our universe will function normally and support the weak and ill.
    Normality is good and healthy. Normal people are happy, healthy and productive.
    This government is a dictatorship.
    It is the government that needs to exit.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      October 14, 2020

      Yes it’s time for Boris to go. He is not sticking to the latest EU talks deadline, he has no idea what to do to get out of cyclical locking down for no purpose at all.
      The agony, angst, desperation and destruction of generations of work he is causing is merely fodder for jokes as he ‘cleverly’ avoids answering the questions of our MPs (even they understand that the ‘Policies’ are slaughtering the British people).
      If the Tory Party don’t get rid of this dangerous lunatic in short order, we will be justified in removing the authority in this country which is attacking and destroying us, by whatever means are to hand.

  6. Martin in Cardiff
    October 14, 2020

    If, right from the start, the Government had made the wearing of masks in all public places mandatory, then we would not be in this mess on that one point alone, probably.

    However, the public would rightly have asked “but where do we get the masks?”

    And the government would have had rather red faces, being unable even to get them for front line clinical staff.

    That is a direct consequence of leaving everything to the markets.

    1. a-tracy
      October 14, 2020

      Martin, we’re all wearing masks and its not stopped the so called second wave!

      We didn’t leave masks to ‘the markets’ we left the stock and store of them to Public Health England, the NHS, the Manchester Health Board etc. This was public sector failure. There were many private homes I read of that protected their residents and got reuseable PPE in early and slept over in the homes to provide total and safe care.

      We trusted too many other Countries to import PPE stock we ordered too.

    2. Edward2
      October 14, 2020

      So now you place your faith in masks.
      Another new hindsight revelation.

    3. sam
      October 16, 2020

      if masks work why are cases going up?

  7. a-tracy
    October 14, 2020

    Are students in locked down Universities told they’re not allowed to go home to their parents and potentially spread the virus out into more regions? Or is this visiting parents allowed?

    1. sam
      October 16, 2020

      The ONS is paying people to get repeat tests every week! If one tests positive one week and also the next is that counted as two cases??

  8. XYXY
    October 14, 2020

    That’s not an answer – perhaps your question needed to allow less wriggle-room.

    What we wanted to know is what is the plan for exiting from having lockdowns AT ALL, not how do we exit from each particular lockdown (only to re-enter lockdown every time cases go up).

    The key point is that we cannot go on indefinitely with this lockdown stuff. Sooner or later we need to accept that covid will be part of life going forward – even with a vaccine, it may still be with us (as with flu vaccines – we have them, but still people catch flu, some die from it).

    1. sam
      October 16, 2020

      the planis to keep it going maybe under the guise of ‘climate change’ until there’s nothing much left

  9. Sharon
    October 14, 2020

    What a nonsensical response from Matt Hancock – he clearly didn’t listen to himself!

    It’s as stupid as saying, ‘ when I I turn the tap this way the water stops running, but when I turn the tap the other the water runs out again!

  10. DOM
    October 14, 2020

    The scummery. A collective noun to describe the British political class who have now been given the perfect justification to impose authoritarian rule to ‘keep us all safe’

    Contempt, anger and bile towards these beasts doesn’t even begin to describe how much we hold these people in disgust

    We’ve had this crap since 1997

    Will no one liberate us from these regressive bigots?

  11. APL
    October 14, 2020

    Dear Mr Redwood.

    Your Health secretary Mat Hancock has, like his boss Boris, become unhinged. The Tory party needs to do something about both of them, before this government destroys the UK economy.

    He said in Parliament:- “If enough people get COVID we will reach herd immunity, this is not true. Herd immunity is a flawed goal with out a vaccine “.. Lie number 1

    1. The whole concept of vaccine is based on the recognition that some people picked up immunity from smallpox by virtue of their having in the past contracted chicken pox.

    QED a vaccine copies the blueprint laid out in nature.

    He further went on to say that even if we could get to herd immunity, ‘we can’t’. Lie number 2.

    Suddenly, after government agents ( NHS Trusts around the country ) throwing thousands of elderly and demented patients into care homes where they contracted and died of COVID-19, Hancock finds some scruples.

    Frankly it’s unbelievable.

    And its unbelievable that we’re seeing such disgusting lying incompetence and negligence from a Tory government.

    You must be very proud.

  12. Zelda
    October 14, 2020

    we dont have a hopes for normality at all.They enjoying what they do with people lifes.Nothing here is about virus.

    1. glen cullen
      October 14, 2020

      That’s the truest post I’ve read for ages

  13. Anonymous
    October 14, 2020

    T May also used to give JR non answers and Hancock left before the decent few MPs spoke up with half decent speeches.

  14. Bryan Harris
    October 15, 2020

    “We lifted that and we have sadly seen it start to rise again.”

    To keep on repeating the same thing over and over while still getting the same result is a good definition of insanity… OR TREACHERY

    When the heck are these people going to come up with plan-B?

    1. sam
      October 16, 2020

      plan-B is to keep it going because of ‘climate change’

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