Matt Hancock says 'everybody' should snitch on neighbours who don't self-isolate as they face £10,000 fines
MATT Hancock has today urged “everybody” to snitch on their neighbours who don’t self-isolate – potentially landing them with a £10,000 fine.
The Health Secretary this morning said he would report people if they were ignoring strict new rules to enforce self-isolation.
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It comes as Boris Johnson will brace families for fresh curbs, which could be in place for the next six months, in a sombre TV address to the nation.
Mr Hancock told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme that the “nation faces a tipping point”.
When asked if he would report a neighbour flouting the rules to the authorities, he said: “Yes, and everybody should."
He then told the BBC's Andrew Marr show: "I'm not in this for a popularity contest. I'm in this to keep the country safe."
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Mr Hancock added: "And the reason for that is the way we control this virus is by breaking the chains of transmission.
"And the number one thing that everybody can do is the basics – hands, face and space – they save lives.
"And making sure that you follow the rule of six, and the social distancing. Everybody has got a part to play in this, it's so important.
"And then, if you test positive, or if you've been a contact, or had NHS Test and Trace phone you up to say you must self-isolate.
It comes as:
- PM to unveil £10k fines for Brits who defy orders to stay at home
- Rishi Sunak plans to freeze benefits to battle covid cost
- Shops hit by increased demand – fuelling panic buying fears
- Sadiq Khan warns London needs a new lockdown by MONDAY
- UK coronavirus cases rise by 4,422 in biggest rise for 19 weeks
"Then it is absolutely critical that you do to break that chain of transmission and to stop the growth of this virus."
People who flout the “rule of six” could see fines hiked from £100 to £1,000. Cops will patrol areas with spiralling rates to see if groups are gathering in illegal numbers.
Fines will also be imposed on those who prevent self-isolating — such as bosses who threaten staff with redundancy if they do not work. Police, trace call handlers and councils will enforce the rules.
But, in a carrot and stick move, four million low-paid workers on benefits will get £500 so they can self-isolate without financial worry.
Yes, and everybody should. I'm not in this for a popularity contest. I'm in this to keep the country safe."
Mr Hancock was asked if he was worried about the recent data, and said: “Well yes, of course.
"We would not be bringing in £10,000 fines to make sure that everybody who needs to self-isolate does self-isolate.”
He added: “We have a choice. Either everybody follows the rules – the rule of six and the need to self-isolate if you have a positive test or if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace – or we will have to take more measures.
“I don’t want to see more measures, more restrictive measures, but if people don’t follow the rules that is how the virus spreads.”
Mr Hancock said there was a danger the infection rate could “shoot through the roof” if people did not follow the Government’s rules.
He added: “We have seen in the data that some people who need to self-isolate are not doing so.
“If you have been asked to self-isolate then you either definitely have the coronavirus or you are highly likely to have coronavirus, and so it is mission critical that you isolate.
“I am very worried about this second wave. We have seen in other countries around Europe how it can absolutely shoot through the roof.”
Mr Johnson is looking at cutting pub opening hours, a ban on households mixing and tough penalties for those who flout the rules.
A senior government source said: “There’s not much on the cards to look forward to. The next six months’ll be pretty s***.”
The PM is spending the weekend deciding on restrictions to tackle the surge in cases.
He is desperate to avoid a second national lockdown which would be a further hammer blow for pubs, restaurants and the economy.
But medical advisers have warned him the consequences could be even worse unless he acts swiftly and decisively.
An insider said: “The virus is like a smouldering grass fire that has suddenly started to spread.
“If he doesn’t tackle it now, it will be out of control with devastating repercussions.”
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