Boris Johnson warns he may have to tighten lockdown AGAIN as he cautions against takeaway coffees
BRITS were last night cautioned against going for takeaway coffees — amid warnings two pals meeting up will be outlawed if people continue to “flex” the rules.
Boris Johnson and top Tories urged “exercise, not socialise” as the Government launched a shock and awe campaign to scare people into staying home.
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Hundreds of thousands more people have got the Covid vaccine, the PM has said today[/caption]
But there was confusion over exactly what is allowed and what is not allowed after police were forced into a humiliating climbdown after fining coffee drinkers in the Midlands.
The PM said as he visited a vaccination centre in the South West today: “We are going to keep the rules under constant review. Where we have to tighten them, we will.
“But we have rules in place which, if properly followed, we believe can make a huge, huge difference.”
He urged everyone to stay at home as much as possible to protect the NHS and save lives – and he urged everyone to consider their actions as it was such a “perilous time” for the nation.
Although he stopped short of telling Brits they shouldn’t enjoy a take-away coffee in a park, he added: “It’s now that people need to focus – whether they are out shopping, whether they are buying coffee in the park or wherever it happens to be, they need to think about spreading the disease.
“Because as Chris said, one contact that you have can be a chain of transmission for this disease.
“Now is the moment of maximum vigilance, maximum observation and observance of the rules, and of course if we think things are not being properly observed then we may have to do more.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock later said if people continue to abuse rules that say two can meet up outdoors in public to exercise, then that could soon be scrapped.
He told a Downing Street press conference: “Yes, you can go and exercise in the park with one other person, but only one other person.
“And we have been seeing large groups and that is not acceptable. And you should be two metres apart from the other person.
“If there are too many people breaking this rule then we are going to have to look at it.
“But, I don’t want to do that because, for many people being able to go for a walk with a friend, that often is their only social contact.”
The PM added: “When people are getting takeaway drinks, in cafes, then they need to avoid spreading the disease there, avoid mingling too much.”
Top doc Prof Chris Whitty also spoke out publicly to warn “there is a high chance if you meet someone unnecessarily” you will get Covid.
The news comes after Derbyshire Police dropped £200 fines for two women who met for a coffee and walk last week at a local beauty spot.
Chief Constable Rachel Swann said: “Two fixed penalty notices that were handed to two women who had travelled to Foremark Reservoir on Thursday have been withdrawn and we have notified the women directly, apologising for any concern caused.”
After repeatedly refusing to clarify the issue, Downing Street finally admitted this lunchtime it was within the rules.
The PM’s spokesperson said: “Takeaways are permitted, cafes and restaurants are permitted to allow takeaways. People are permitted to exercise once a day… It shouldn’t be used for socialising.”
The climbdown came after the PM was accused of stretching the rules by going for a weekend bike ride seven miles from Downing Street.
The Derbyshire pair had been fined for travelling five miles from their home, sparking accusations that Mr Johnson had flouted his own rules.
However No10 insiders insisted there is no rule against travelling for exercise.
Pressed on the restrictions, Mr Hancock said: “You should stay local, you should not go from one side of a country to another, potentially taking the virus with you.”
Brits have been told only to leave their home to exercise, get food or a small list of other reasons as part of the national lockdown to save lives and cut the number of Covid cases down.
But parks have been rammed over the weekend as Brits flock to beauty spots to take their exercise.
It came as:
- Boris Johnson also said today that 2 million have had at least one jab
- Matt Hancock said this evening that 2.6million jabs had been given to more than 2.3million people across the country so far
- The Health secretary gave a press conference tonight on how the vaccine will be rolled out
- Mr Hancock also ruled out scrapping support bubbles during the third lockdown
- Wales said people should wear masks in all public places – including outside
- A tweak to test and trace means millions more people will get told to stay at home completely
- Rishi Sunak warned the economy would get worse before it gets better
Around one million people have got the jab in the last week alone – and hundreds of thousands more are set to get it every day.
Matt Hancock said on Sunday the figure stood at around 2million.
Two out of five care home residents have got their first dose, he added tonight.
Almost a quarter of older care home residents have got it – with every care home resident to get it this month.
It comes as seven super vaccination centres opened across Britain today – to fulfil the PM’s aim of doing 200,000 a day by Friday.
50 will open by the end of the week.
Boris has promised that 13million vulnerable Brits will be offered their first jabs by the middle of February.
More mass-scale vaccination centres will open in the coming days and weeks.
The PM visited one in Bristol to see how the rollout was working.
600,000 Brits who live less than a 45 minute drive away will be written to, asking them to book a slot.
The locations are:
- Robertson House in Stevenage
- ExCel Centre in London
- Centre for Life in Newcastle
- Etihad Tennis Centre in Manchester
- Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey
- Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol
- Millennium Point in Birmingham
The PM has promised to inoculate 13.5 million people in just five weeks, and ministers are gearing up for a marathon task.
A fuller plan will be published at tonight’s press conference, which will be led by Matt Hancock.
He will also give an update on how and when everyone can expect to get vaccinated.
The PM visiting a vaccine centre in Bristol today[/caption]
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