27.10.2021

Matt Hancock: Im worried about a second coronavirus wave

Mr Hancock would not be drawn on the details of the announcement, due to be delivered by deputy chief medical officer Jonathan van Tam.

But he told Sky News: “I am worried about a second wave, I think you can see a second wave starting to roll across Europe and we’ve got to do everything we can to prevent it from reaching these shores and to tackle it.

“The measures that the chief medical officer will set out later are part of that, but so too are the measures that we’re taking, for instance to ensure we don’t directly bring cases back to this country where there’s a big spike in cases – for instance as we saw in Spain. We keep those quarantine rules under review all the time.”

The health secretary has said he is worried about a second wave of coronavirus hitting the UK, as the government moves to tighten quarantine rules for people with symptoms.

Matt Hancock pointed the finger at the continent on Thursday morning, saying the virus was “rolling across Europe”.

The government later today expected to tighten up quarantine rules by increasing the length people with symptoms have to self isolate from seven to ten days.

Boris Johnson said this week that that he feared a second wave was coming, like his colleague suggesting the virus was coming from abroad. But senior medics and epidemiologists have highlighted mistakes by the government on social distancing messaging and mask wearing as causes for an uptick in cases in the UK.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the BMA’s council, told MPs on Wednesday that confused messaging from the government and lack of a “systemic approach” on policies like mask wearing and social distancing was behind a weekly rise in infections.

He pointed to confusion over what “one-metre plus” social distancing meant and inconsistencies about where masks should be worn.

Mr Hancock said: “We’re taking action and we will take action if it is needed to keep this country safe. So absolutely on a second wave it is something that I worry about and I worry about it because we can see it happening. Around the rest of the world, outside of Europe, there are clearly very sharp increases in the number of cases – in places like Brazil, Mexico, India, and other places.

“But closer to home in Europe, including in some of the countries that we had exempted from quarantine because their cases were so low, we’re seeing that some up and we won’t hesitate to act.”

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