Beaches could be shut down if COVID-19 cases spike again, Health Minister warns

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that UK beaches could be shut down if social distancing measures are ignored and coronavirus cases climb again.

The minister spoke to TalkRadio about the prospect of closing public areas as thousands flocked to coastlines in Blackpool, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole this week – over-stretching authorities and prompting them to declare “a major incident”.

Dorset was flooded with around half a million visitors on Thursday according to Bournemouth East MP Tobias Elwood, as temperatures in England toppled 30 degrees.


Whilst Mr. Hancock admitted he was “reluctant” to ban Brits from the beach, he reminded listeners that that the government “do have that power”.

“…the key is to do it with respect for the rules – stay with your household, stay a good distance from other households,” he said.

The Health Secretary’s message echoes the sentiments of Boris Johnson on Tuesday.

During his restriction-lifting address in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister said he would not hesitate to reinstate lockdown even at a national level if necessary.

England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty has also reminded citizens that the virus remains in general circulation – with cases in Britain set to rise if social distancing is ignored.


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