Matt Hancock tonight defended Boris Johnson after he was spotted cycling in the Olympic Park seven miles from Downing Street in apparent breach of government advice – hours before complaining that people have become ‘complacent’ about the rules.
The Health Secretary said it is allowed to cycle that distance from where you live to take exercise, despite also insisting that people must ‘stay local’.
But he also warned that rules on two people from different households being able to exercise outdoors together could be torn up if people keep abusing them.
‘If too many people keep breaking this rule we are going to have to look at it but I don’t want to do that,’ Mr Hancock told a No10 briefing this evening.
Shortly after Mr Hancock’s address, the PM released a short video filmed during his visit to the Ashton Gate vaccination centre in Bristol today.
In it, he urged Britons to ‘follow the guidance, stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives’ as Covid continues to spread rapidly in several parts of the country.
Britons shouldn’t ‘lose focus on the pandemic’ as coronavirus is ‘still causing huge, huge problems for our NHS’, Mr Johnson added.
The country today recorded a further 529 Covid deaths – marking a 30 per cent rise on the 407 reported on this day last week.
Today is the deadliest Monday since April 20 when 570 people lost their lives.
But, in a positive sign that the UK’s soaring case load may be leveling out, 46,169 people tested positive for the virus today – down 20 per cent in a week.
Today’s case total marks the first sub-50,000 figure since December 28.
The PM was seen wearing a hat and a face mask on his bike at the venue seven miles away from Downing Street yesterday afternoon.
Read more: Unelected dark suit Whitty turning the screw for the Cult on human freedom – only leaving your home once a WEEK ‘being considered’. Anyone who takes this shit deserves to lose their freedom