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Police stop to move on two women on Primrose Hill, London, as the UK continues in lockdown
Police stop to move on two women on Primrose Hill, London, as the UK continues in lockdown
Image: Aaron Chown/PA Images

Another 621 people have died from Covid-19 in UK as minister warns outside exercise could be banned

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was “quite unbelievable” crowds were still gathering over the weekend.
Apr 5th 2020, 12:53 PM 61,151 74

Updated Apr 5th 2020, 3:18 PM

BRITAIN’S HEALTH SECRETARY Matt Hancock has warned the government could ban outside exercise if people flout stringent guidelines to cut the spread of coronavirus infections.

Warmer weekend weather has stoked fears that Britons could congregate in parks and open spaces, potentially increasing transmission, as the country goes into a third week of lockdown.

Hancock made the comments before the latest figures have shown that a further 621 people have died in the UK from coronavirus in a single day.

In total, 4,934 people have died from the virus in the UK and this figure has quadrupled since last week. The death toll includes a five-year-old child, as well as seven healthcare workers.

The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK is 47,806 and the government is contemplating further restrictions amid the surging number of deaths. 

A major south London park was closed today after concern about high numbers of sunbathers yesterday.

Hancock, who himself tested positive for Covid-19, told Sky News television sunbathing was “against the rules” and anyone doing so put lives at risk.

He later told the BBC most people were following guidance only to leave their homes to shop for essential supplies and medicine, and to exercise once a day.

But he said it was “quite unbelievable” that a minority were not.

“The truth is the more people go out from home, the more the virus spreads,” he added.

“I don’t want to have to take away exercise as a reason to leave home because people are not following the rules…

“If the result of that is that too many people go out and flout the rules I’m afraid we’ll have to take action.”

Meanwhile, police in Dorset, southwest England, said they charged a man with a public order offence for allegedly wiping his saliva on items in a supermarket.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in self-isolation with a high temperature after testing positive for the disease, which is expected to peak in Britain in the next week to 10 days.

His pregnant partner, Carrie Symonds, said she has also shown symptoms but not been tested.

Queen Elizabeth II will make a rare special address at 1900 GMT on Sunday in which she is expected to praise people’s response to the outbreak.

Her eldest son and heir, Prince Charles is recovering from mild symptoms of Covid-19.

© – AFP 2020

With reporting from Sean Murray

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