MP Steve Brine has spoken of his fears that public support for the measures against coronavirus is “slipping away.”

Speaking in a debate in the House of Commons on Monday evening Mr Brine said it was crucial to maintain the consent of the public: “I fear that that is slipping away. I am getting a constant stream of emails from constituents, questioning the decisions being made because they cannot see the evidence or logic behind them. They do not know where we are going or what is the destination. Yes, we have had a lot of statements from the Health Secretary, and I give him credit for that, but statements are not debates which, like tonight, become an exercise in how many Members the House can accommodate, and then the poor Minister of State on the Front Bench will probably get five or six minutes to wrap the whole thing up.

“There is an old adage in this place that one should never ask a question to which one does not already know the answer, but I will ask two questions to which I genuinely do not know the answer. Perhaps the Minister can help me when he sums up the debate. Why are young children included in the rule of six—of course, they are not in Scotland? I do not know the answer to that, although many of my constituents have been asking me. Please can we hear the evidence behind that?

“What is the evidence for the 10pm curfew? I agree with Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, about the knock-on effects. If we are going to have a 10pm curfew in pubs and restaurants, we will have to have a 10pm curfew on selling alcohol in off-licences and supermarkets. I would just say this on alcohol, as a former public health Minister: if people are so desperate to drink until 10pm and then to get loaded with more booze in the off-licence so that they can carry on until 3 in the morning, what does that say about the unhealthy relationship that this country has with alcohol? It is an elephant in the room and we overlook it at our peril.”