Matt Hancock: "It's too early to be making changes"
Health Secretary Matt Hancock also appeared live from North London and spoke about his colleague, MP and Health Secretary for Patient Safety Nadine Dorries’ tweet where she claimed ‘There is only one way we can exit ‘full’ lockdown and that is when we have a vaccine.’
Mr Hancock explained: “What Nadine’s saying is that this talk about an exit strategy with the idea that we’d go back to exactly how things were before, it is far too early for that. We’re just starting to see a peak in the level of transmissions and the number of people who are sadly dying every day. We are seeing that peak, but it is far too high, so it is too early to be making changes.”
He added: “It is too early to change the measures because we’re reaching the peak, but the level of transmission is still too high.”
When Susanna asked what type of measures the government are thinking of taking when it comes to relaxing lockdown, Mr Hancock said: “The reason that we’re really clear that what is needed now is for people to stay at home because that protects the NHS and saves lives, is that the communication of that message itself is directly having an impact on slowing the spread of the virus and therefore is saving lives, so it’s tempting to get into speculation, but what really matters today is that people stay at home where it all possible and follow the social distancing rules.”
Piers then asked why airports are still open and Mr Hancock said: “We have different treatment for people coming from different places according to how serious the outbreak is. We don’t routinely check airports because the number of people coming through has dropped very dramatically and so there is very, very low amounts.”
Piers pressed Mr Hancock for a number of people that have come into the country this week and he said, “About 15,000 a day. The scientists say that the epidemiological impact of keeping the travel open is very small because there’s already large transmission here. What i want to do is see the transmission rates come down which is why following this guidance is so important.”