Matt Hancock says the beefed-up tiers unveiled by the Prime Minister are “better-calibrated” than the previous Tier 3 restrictions
The tough COVID-19 Tier 3 restrictions that had been imposed before the second national lockdown in England were not strong enough, according to the health secretary when speaking with MPs.
Matt Hancock has said that the revised coronavirus tiers that had been unveiled by the Prime Minister are “better-calibrated” than what was in place before the shutdown.
He said during a joint session of the health and social care and science and technology committees that the previous Tier 3 restrictions in place throughout September and October were not “strong enough to get the R below one, and therefore cases falling”.
He told a joint session of the health and social care and science and technology committees that the original Tier 3 measures in place in September and October were not “strong enough to get the R below one, and therefore cases falling”.
“Therefore, we need a slightly tougher third tier so we can have confidence that we can bring cases down under the tiered system,” the health secretary said.
This comes after the Prime Minister is hoping to lace his latest set of COVID-19 restrictions with more festive cheer, with the re-opening of gyms and ministers working hard on plans to allow families to be able to meet up within a holiday bubble.
Speaking on the hoped-for rollout of new vaccines for COVID-19 in the months to come, the Health Secretary told MPs: “After Easter, we think we will be getting back to normal.”
He said there will be a shift to an emphasis being put on “personal responsibility” throughout the country rather than social distancing restrictions once a vaccine has reached the most vulnerable.
“I very much hope not to by having a tiered system which is calibrated to be able to bring the virus under control, where that’s necessary,” the health secretary said.
He said the United Kingdom should continue to use the “global-scale diagnostics capability” that the nation has built up during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I want to have a change in the British way of doing things where ‘if in doubt, get a test’ doesn’t just refer to coronavirus but refers to any illness that you might have,” Mr Hancock said.
“Why in Britain do we think it’s acceptable to soldier on and go into work if you have flu symptoms or a runny nose, thus making your colleagues ill?”
“I think that’s something that is going to have to change.”
This comes after people in the UK may struggle to get their orders delivered in time for Christmas this year, with a shipping boss warning of chaos at Britain’s biggest port, that is “getting worse” and is leading to a “very challenging” Christmas period.
“If you have in future flu-like symptoms, you should get a test for it and find out what’s wrong with you, and if you need to stay at home to protect others, then you should stay at home.”
“We are peculiarly unusual and outliers in soldiering on and still going to work, and it kind of being the culture that ‘as long as you can get out of bed you still should get into work’.”
“That should change.”