Live coronavirus updates as Matt Hancock suggests national lockdown could happen



‘Very difficult weeks ahead’ for those in Tier 3.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned there will be “some very difficult weeks ahead” as he suggested that Tier 3 areas with rising coronavirus cases could face tougher restrictions.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “There are Tier 3 areas of the country where the virus is clearly spreading and increasing, and in fact some of those areas are where it is increasing the fastest.

“And we have moved incredibly fast to take action when necessary, including on Boxing Day, so we don’t shy away from those decisions, difficult as they are, because they can be necessary for the control of the virus.”

Mr Hancock went on: “We have shown that we are prepared to move incredibly quickly, within 24 hours if we think that is necessary, and we keep these things under review all the time.

“We look at the data on a daily basis and we can see at the moment that there are significant rises, especially, as I say, in the areas that are still in Tier 3.”

He urged people to follow the restrictions, saying it is “on everyone to act as if you have the virus because it is only that way that we can stop this new variant from spreading”.

He added that he is “incredibly worried” about the South African variant of coronavirus.

“This is a very, very significant problem,” he said.





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