Health Secretary Matt Hancock has refused to rule out the possibility of a second national lockdown citing it as a "last line of defence".
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has refused to rule out the possibility of a second national lockdown citing it as a “last line of defence”.
Matt Hancock won’t rule out second national lockdown
Scientists in the UK have reportedly requested that a two week national lockdown be imposed during the two week school half-term break. Other reports suggest that the government will impose “circuit break” additional measures next week. The rumoured measures are alike to those already implemented in North East England, notably curfews for pubs and restaurants.
Upon being asked about another national lockdown, Matt Hancock replied: “Well, what I would say is that we really do need to come together to tackle this. The virus is clearly accelerating across the country. We have got to take the necessary action to keep people safe.” A follow up question from Kay Burley prompted the response: “We will do what is necessary to keep people safe. The last line of defence is for national action and I don’t want to see that but we will do whatever is necessary to keep people safe in a very difficult pandemic.”
When asked if another lockdown would ever not be considered, the Health secretary said: “It isn’t something that we ever take off the table, but it isn’t something that we want to see either. It is the last line of defence. But the country once again needs to come together and recognise there is a serious challenge… that the virus is accelerating. Unfortunately, it isn’t just cases increasing, it’s also the number of people ending up in hospital increasing.”
Pressed on how close the country is to a second national lockdown, he added that “we keep all of these things under review”. In another interview this morning with BBC Breakfast, Hancock echoed the same sentiments and went on to defend the test and trace system. He cited that 200,000 tests have been carried out each day this week and that the UK has the best testing rate in Europe. Nevertheless, the Health Minister pleaded with the public to follow current Covid guidelines and restrictions.in order to prevent a second national lockdown.
10 million people in England are currently under local lockdowns and the measures implemented in North East England are likely to resemble those that might be put in place for a national lockdown, notably curfews for pubs and restaurants. The Midlands and the North West go into lockdown next week too.