Health Secretary Matt Hancock has spoken of his concerns of the Covid-19 pandemic affecting the festive season.
Speaking on LBC radio this morning, Mr Hancock said he ‘hoped’ Christmas won’t be cancelled this year, and warned people they must ‘act now’ to stop the virus spreading.
Yesterday, Tuesday, September 8, it was announced that gatherings of more than six people will be prohibited in England.
The new rules will come into effect next week from Monday, September 14.
In an interview with LBC radio Hancock, who is the UK’s Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said the new government rules are “so important” and added, “every single person in the country” needs to work together to “get a grip” on Covid-19, the Daily Star reports.
He said he “hopes” the new rules, which ban all indoor and outdoor gatherings of more than six people, will mean Christmas 2020 isn’t cancelled.
Hancock added that in areas where there has been a “big spike” the government will now take “action immediately.”
He told LBC: “I hope not but we clearly need to act.
“This is a really simple rule which says you cannot socialise with more than six people.
“We want to set out very clearly for everybody – so that everybody has the chance to see these rules, read them and then to follow them, and that’s why it will come into force on Monday.”
Adding: “You have seen that where there is a big spike like Bolton, that’s where we will take action immediately.
“These rules are so important, every single person in the country needs to know what they are so that we can together get a grip of the virus.”
Current guidelines limit most outdoor gatherings to either six people, and no more than two household bubbles if meeting indoors.
The higher limit of 30 attendees is only for community events or ceremonies such as weddings.
From Monday the default maximum will be reduced to six, making it easier for police to identify and disperse illegal gatherings.
Ahead of a press conference on Wednesday, Boris Johnson said: “We need to act now to stop the virus spreading.
“So we are simplifying and strengthening the rules on social contact – making them easier to understand and for the police to enforce.”