Hancock demands UK ‘hold nerve’ as Covid surges in Kent and Essex threaten new limits

Vaccine: Matt Hancock urges UK to ‘hold nerve’ despite rollout

Matt Hancock insisted he has “great hopes” that coronavirus restrictions will start being eased from spring 2021 thanks to the planned expansion of the vaccination programme. The Health Secretary however warned Britons to continue following the rules to avoid surges in the virus as Kent, Essex and London all face further restrictions because of infections rising again. Speaking to the Today programme, the Health Secretary said: “What I’d say is this is an incredibly important moment on the march out of this pandemic but we still have a long march to go this winter.

“People need to keep respecting the rules and try to live in a way that, if you have the virus, infects as few people as possible.

“We are seeing rising numbers of cases in parts of Essex, parts of Kent and parts of London in particular.

“We’ve got to keep this under control.”

Mr Hancock insisted the Government’s strategy relies on Britons abiding by coronavirus restrictions up until a majority of the public is vaccinated.

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He continued: “The whole strategy, all along, has been to suppress the virus protecting the economy, education and the NHS until a vaccine can make us safe.

“The great news I’ve had today is that strategy is clearly working because a vaccine is starting to be able to keep us safe.

“But the suppress the virus bit is still absolutely critical.”

He added: “People still need to hold their nerve. We need to still hold out nerve and keep this virus under control until we have the vaccine rolled out to protect us.”

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