Lord Karan Bilimoria spoke on LBC with Nick Ferrari and insisted Boris Johnson must open the economy on June 21 as scheduled. He argued failing to do this would jeopardise industries like tourism, hospitality and aviation. He insisted the UK is much better prepared than it was a year ago to deal with coronavirus, even with the fears surrounding the Indian variant.
Lord Bilimoria said: “The key figures are the hospitalisations and the deaths.
“Despite this Indian variant, and yes it is worrying that you have got 300,000 in certain areas but it is in under control, we can control this.
“We have got to open up the economy at some stage.
“This is because jobs and livelihoods are at stake.
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“The hospitality industry, the tourism industry, airline industry, the aviation industry are devastated and they are waiting to open up.
“We need clarity about what is going to happen on the 21st of June.
“We were hoping to have advanced notice and now we know we are not going to have that advanced notice until one week before the 21st of June.”
Lord Bilimoria highlighted some of the key differences between where the UK was with Covid in the summer of 2020 compared to now.
Lord Bilimoria also suggested the UK could have avoided further lockdowns if they had increased testing earlier.
He said: “Mass testing, which I pushed for so long last summer.
“I pushed to have it free to every citizen in this country, every business in the country to be able to test ourselves regularly, twice a week to be on top it.
“They didn’t listen until November, today you have television adverts telling people to use these tests, it’s better now.
“If we had done that earlier we would have avoided a second or third lockdown.”