British Health Secretary Matt Hancock does not rule out another national lockdown to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus in the United Kingdom, but says that is “the last line of defense.”
“We will do what is necessary to keep people safe,” he told Sky News in an interview early on Friday, when asked if a second national lockdown was being considered. “It isn't something that we ever take off the table, but it isn't something that we want to see either.”
Hancock explained that a national lockdown would be the last in a list of measures the government has at its disposable to slow down the spread of the virus.
“The first line of defense is that everybody should follow the social distancing, after that, these local lockdowns, and the last line of defense is for national action,” he said. “I don't want to see that, but we will do whatever is necessary to keep people safe in a very difficult pandemic.”
Hancock encouraged people to stick to the new rules, which came into effect on Monday. “The country once again needs to come together and recognize there is a serious challenge, that the virus is accelerating,” he said.
Rising cases: The UK has seen a surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, with daily new infections rising above 3,000.
In an interview with the BBC on Friday, Hancock descried the situation as "very serious."
“We have seen an acceleration in the number of cases over the last couple of weeks and we've also sadly seen that the number of people hospitalized with coronavirus is doubling about every eight days, so we do need to take action,” he said.