A London MP has slammed the Government’s response to calls to lock down the country, to stop the spread of coronavirus.
The Government has said it is safe to exercise as long as people keep at least two metres away from other people.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4, Mr Hancock said he did not know why some people were ignoring the Government’s advice.
“It’s very selfish,” he said. “The NHS is doing everything it can and preparing for the spread of this virus.
“If people go within two metres of others who they don’t live with then they’re helping to spread the virus – and the consequences of that costs lives and it means that, for everyone, this will go on for longer.”
Mr Hancock said ministers were prepared to take stricter measures to clamp down on the spread of the virus if necessary.
However, Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Member of Parliament for Streatham, said: “We needed a lockdown yesterday. Since last week, it’s been apparent that the Government’s decision to adopt its ‘herd immunity’ strategy and ignore WHO Coronavirus advice on testing and social distancing have put us on a worse disease trajectory than Italy. More delays will only have even deadlier consequences, so we need to have a lockdown now.
“The absence of containment measures has been compounded by confusing communication and other illogical policy choices – like opting to reduce public transport services without issuing clear closure instructions to non-essential businesses.
“As things stand, this dithering means our death rate is set to rise faster and higher than Italy’s. We cannot wait for the Government to show real leadership on this. That’s why I’m calling on Streatham to take the lead, starting with staying at home.”
Irish premier Leo Varadkar said he does not think parks and public places will have to close yet over fears people are not doing enough social distancing amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The Taoiseach said any decision to enforce tougher restrictions is not going to be made because of what is trending on Twitter or political populism
The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) is meeting on Tuesday to consider whether more measures are needed to tackle Covid-19.
NPHET will discuss whether to enforce a clampdown on movement in public spaces including walking trails, beaches and parks.