UK Health Sec. Matt Hancock is facing a furious backlash after claiming that new guidance that the British government rushed out on Thursday night regarding setting rules for certain areas in the North West of England, was “completely crystal clear.”
In an interview with Sky News on Friday, Hancock defended the government’s hasty announcement late at night in relation to restrictions imposed on parts of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and West Yorkshire in response to spikes in cases of coronavirus.
Hancock rejected claims that the new guidance was confusing and insisted that it was “Crystal clear” and designed to cause as little disturbance as possible. He said rules had been put in place to reduce the transmission of the deadly disease from household to household.
Matt Hancock says that “the rules are completely crystal clear”; and adds “the evidence shows that the biggest risk in terms of the spread of this virus over this area is the transmission of households when people go to meet each other at home … and also visit friends and relatives “pic.twitter.com/q7xI4z91Ng
– SkyNews (@SkyNews) July 31, 2020
The ban – which came into force from midnight with three hours’ notice – limits the mix of two well-known households or more in all indoor environments, whether it is homes or social spaces such as pubs, cafes, restaurants. But people in the affected areas will still be allowed to mingle with strangers in these places – and even go on holiday with another household.
British media reported that some local directors of public health did not know about the new guidance until Hancock announced a short video after 9pm BST on Thursday.
The government eventually published the guide at 22 minutes after midnight. It is noteworthy that although people will be fined £ 100 for breaking the rules, there is not yet a law to enforce this.
Chaos reigned for people in the affected regions of the Northwest with accusations of mixed messages and nonsensical new rules, which spilled over to Friday morning. Many on Twitter have asked who households can and cannot interact with and where.
One comment tweeted: “So you can’t walk around to each other’s houses anymore … but you can all meet at the pub and go on holiday together.”
Another person suggested that the new guide was about protection “Profit” made by companies to the detriment of families who socialize.
So basically it’s “People can not meet unless big companies profit from it”. Got you.
– Oi, Mario, move down (@JohnSlaterITFC) July 31, 2020
Others noted the government’s handling of the crown virus crisis as one “S ** t show,” calls on the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s administration to focus on the ultimate fix, such as improving their highly malignant Covid-19 test and tracking system.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham – who is in charge of one of the affected regions – told Sky News that he supported the restrictions to stop people dying from coronavirus.
But in what may have been a haunting dig at Hancock, he said Britain’s ministers had it “A habit of saying something and then it’s a few hours until the detail comes out.”
Also on rt.com
“Have no idea”: Leicester mayor knocks out UK government as health secretary says authorities fight 100+ Covid-19 outbreaks a week
Do you think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
Subscribe to RT newsletter to get stories that mainstream media does not tell you.