Matt Hancock: ‘If you stay at home you are saving lives’

Friday, March 20, 2020

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has urged people to follow the public health rules put in place to tackle coronavirus, as measures continue to step up.

It follows Boris Johnson’s press update last night where he suggested that the UK could “turn the tide” on the pandemic within 12 weeks if Brits follow the social-distancing guidelines.

“The point the Prime Minister was making is that we can turn the corner on this if everybody follows the public health advice, if everybody stays at home as much as possible,” Mr Hancock said.

He continued: “If you stay at home you are saving lives.

“The longer people continue to go out and continue to socialise, the more it will spread and the longer we're going to have to keep these measures in place.”

Emergency coronavirus legislation will be presented to Parliament today, which could give the government powers to enforce its current measures by law if necessary.

The Health Secretary said he would “rather not” have to legally constrain people, adding that “the vast majority of people” were following the advice.

“This is a time where the country has to come together to fight this invisible enemy,” he said.

As well as imposing travel regulations and unlocking financial support for businesses affected by the crisis, the government is also working on “ramping up” testing for the virus.

Mr Hancock said his department is working on increasing the number of daily tests from 10,000 to 25,000, as well as trying to buy in a newly-invented home-based test that does not require a lab.

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