A NATIONAL lockdown is the ‘last line of defence’ but the Government will do “whatever’s necessary” to halt spread of bug, Matt Hancock declared today.
The Health Secretary refused to rule out a second national lockdown amid fears cases are are high as 38,000 a day.
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Speaking to Sky’s Kay Burleigh this morning, Mr Hancock said: “The last line of defence is full national action and I don’t want to see that but we will do whatever is necessary to keep people safe in a very difficult pandemic.”
He added: “It isn’t something that we ever take off the table but it isn’t something that we want to see either, it is the last line of defence.”
10million Brits are already under local lockdowns with tough new restrictions put in place to tackle a surge in cases.
Hundreds of drinkers hit the town for a last boozy night out before the North East was put into lockdown.
It comes as…
Greater Manchester, Birmingham and Leicester have also been plunged into lockdown or given restrictions that limit households mixing and curfews.
Merseyside and Lancashire – apart from Blackpool – are also expected to be hit with a North East-style lockdown, it has emerged.
Boris Johnson hasn’t ruled out another national shutdown – although with the increasing number of lightning lockdowns across many regions, much of the country is already living with enforced changes.
Warning a second national lockdown would be “disastrous”, the PM said on Wednesday: “I don’t want a second national lockdown.
“I think it would be completely wrong for this country and we are going to do everything in our power to prevent it.”
UK coronavirus cases rose yesterday by 3,395 with 21 more deaths – as test shortages strike across the country.
London has also seen a rise of case rates in at least 30 boroughs.
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Meanwhile, Brits have struggled to book appointments to get tested due to a backlog of about 240,000 swabs.