Government ‘not ruling out’ curfews and total lockdown to contain coronavirus

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has refused to rule out a total lockdown involving curfews if people refuse to follow the government's advice on coronavirus.

Despite repeated advice from health officials and Prime Minister Boris Johnson on social distancing, thousands of people were seen flocking to beaches and tourist spots over the weekend after the good weather.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast this morning, Hancock said stricter rules could soon be brought into place if warnings aren't heeded.

Asked by host Louise Minchin whether curfews are being considered, he said: “Nothing is off the table.

“I don’t want to pre-judge the discussions today to make a decision on those things – ultimately it’s a decision for the prime minister.

“I’m really clear that people need to stay two metres apart – that’s got to happen.

“We’re taking a bill to parliament to be able to do more enforcement.

“We are absolutely prepared to if we must."

“People are worried, people who are working in the NHS are worried and want to see everybody following the rules."

A bill is being brought before Parliament today to allow for "more enforcement", Hancock continued.

He added: "Part of my job is to protect the NHS. And everyone wants to see us through this as soon as possible and the way to do that is to follow the rules.

"And if that requires us to bring in more stringent enforcement than we've already got then we're absolutely open to that."

Last week, Johnson said all bars, clubs, theatres, cinemas, cafes and restaurants were to close.

Despite still being allowed to operate takeaway services, McDonald's has also decided to close all its stores.

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