Public warned they have "relaxed too much" as coronavirus cases rise

08 September 2020 by
Government health secretary Matt Hancock will close pubs and restaurants ‘if necessary’ to prevent coronavirus spread

The public has been warned to take coronavirus seriously again, having "relaxed too much" after an increase in coronavirus cases that could prompt more local lockdowns and further threaten the viability of hospitality businesses.

England's deputy chief medical officer professor Jonathan Van Tam said that though hospital admissions were at a low level, the country had seen a significant change in infections.

He told the BBC: "People have relaxed too much. Now is the time for us to re-engage, and to realise that this a continuing threat to us."

The comments followed a warning from health secretary Matt Hancock not to "kill your granny". His remarks were aimed at "affluent younger people" who, Hancock said, were behind a sudden rise in infections. There were 2,988 confirmed cases on Sunday and 2,948 yesterday.

Meanwhile, council leaders in the north-east of England said that businesses would be shut down if they didn't record test and trace details.

In a joint statement seven leaders from north-east local authorities and the North of Tyne Combined Authority said: "We have seen cases where individuals with symptoms have had a test, then gone out and infected others before getting their results – reckless and selfish behaviour."

Addressing the capturing of track and trace documentation they added: "Failure to do so will leave us with no alternative than to shut those premises down.

"A significant minority believe it is OK to have house parties, hold events with unregulated crowds, ignore the rules – well it isn't. Household transmission remains the biggest danger. By not following the guidance, advice and legislation you are at greater risk of spreading the virus to your own family, which as we have seen can lead to tragic consequences."

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