U.K. Faces ‘Tipping Point’ in Battle to Stop Spread of Virus

U.K. Faces ‘Tipping Point’ in Battle to Stop Spread of Virus

  • Health Secretary warns of more curbs if people flout rules
  •  U.K. announces fines of up to 10,000 pounds for rule breakers

U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned that national restrictions could be reimposed unless the recent spike in coronavirus infections is brought under control.

Speaking on Sky TV’s “Sophy Ridge on Sunday,” Hancock said the U.K. is facing a “tipping point” in the battle to limit the spread of coronavirus. A further 4,422 new Covid-19 cases were reported on Saturday, the biggest daily increase since early May.

“The choice is either everybody follows the rules, or we will have to take more measures,” he said. “I don’t want to see more restrictive measures, but if people don’t follow the rules that’s how the virus spreads.”

Hancock spoke after the government confirmed that people in England who refuse an order to self-isolate could be fined up to 10,000 pounds ($12,917). A new legal duty requires people to self-isolate if they test positive for coronavirus, or are traced as a close contact.

“I’m very worried about this second wave,” Hancock said. “We’ve seen in Europe it can shoot through the roof. I can’t overemphasize enough the importance of this message: we must follow rules on social distancing. That way we can avoid an incredibly difficult lockdown until the cavalry comes with a vaccine and mass testing is on the horizon.”