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Sport & Recreation

November 2nd 2020

I have received a number of communications relating to sports and recreational activities – most particularly, golf, gym, tennis and fishing.

First, I accept entirely that leisure activities are good for mental as well as physical health. I also accept that many venues have modified or adapted their facilities, sometimes at considerable cost, to facilitate social distancing. (That applies, incidentally, too many small retail outlets also).

That said, the Government faces grim situation: all but those in denial accept that infection and death rates are rising exponentially and that hospitals – including even the `Nightingales` - face the very real prospect of becoming overwhelmed. Arguably the action that the Government is taking could and should have been taken two weeks or even a month earlier. Our task in Parliament now is to protect lives and health, to keep rooves over people`s heads and food on their tables and to save jobs and businesses – including, of course, those in the leisure industries.

I hope and expect that once the initial measures are in place it will be possible to fine-tune the rules and I and other colleagues will be working towards that. In the meantime, I shall support the Government in the measures that it is proposing initially and I would ask for patience and forbearance while we try to improve upon the package.

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