Matt Hancock: I can’t guarantee there won’t be a second lockdown

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The Health Secretary has refused to guarantee that the government will not enforce a second coronavirus lockdown if there is a new spike in infections.

Speaking to talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, Matt Hancock said: “Being Health Secretary you do come across some unexpected risks coming through.

“But the point is, we don’t want to see a second wave and we will tackle problems that lead to a second wave if we see them.”

It comes as scientists warned a “reasonable worst case scenario” for a winter wave of Covid-19 could cause up to 120,000 hospital deaths.

A new report from the Academy of Medical Sciences, commissioned by the Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, advised that action must be taken now to mitigate the potential for a second peak.

It argues that hospitals could potentially see 120,000 Covid-19 deaths between September and next June while also having to battle a surge in demand due to usual winter pressures, including flu.

Meanwhile, Mr Hancock has also said there are no plans to mandate the wearing of face masks in office spaces.

It follows speculation that ministers would take the step after they decided to make face coverings compulsory in shops and supermarkets from next Friday.

He said: “We have the rules in place for how offices operate and the Covid-secure guidelines...Of course, we update policy when science learns more but we’re not proposing to do this in offices.”

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