Matt Hancock reveals ‘critical period’ to show if lockdown is working

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has revealed that the UK is close to a ‘critical period’ to find out whether the national lockdown is working to suppress Covid-19.

Speaking to Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain, the Health Secretary was questioned on tougher restrictions being enforced to stop the alarming increase in infection in recent weeks.

Piers asked him: “When will you know from the data at the start of the national lockdown that may necessitate tougher restrictions being brought in?

“Do you have a day?”

The Health Secretary replied: “The answer is, we look at it all the time and the way I think about is that it typically tends to take about a week for an increase in infections to turn up in the data and then another week for it turn up in hospital admissions.

“A week to two weeks really.

“So I’m looking now, a week and a bit on from bringing in the national lockdown – it was Wednesday morning it was brought in – I’m looking to see cases just starting to level off.

“I hope that’s what we sees over the next few days.”

He added: “The few days ahead of us is the critical period to know whether this national lockdown is working.

“But of course it isn’t just about the rules; it’s on all of us together to do this. It’s all about following the rules in letter and in spirit.”

Speaking to Sky News on Wednesday, the Health Secretary also admitted that it was impossible to know when lockdown will end.

“We will keep the restrictions in place not a moment longer than they are necessary, but we will keep them in place as long as they are necessary,” he said.

“These measures that we have got in place that we hope to be able to lift, and we should be able to lift when we have been able to protect through vaccination those who are vulnerable – right now the vaccination is not in a position to do that.”

Good Morning Britain continues weekdays on ITV at 6am.

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