UK Health Minister Tells Public to Follow COVID-19 Rules or Face National Lockdown

© REUTERS / Toby MelvillePedestrians walk near public health signs, whilst the reproduction "R" number of COVID-19 infections in the United Kingdom has risen and may be above 1, the Government Office for Science said on Friday, indicating a risk that the overall epidemic is growing, London, Britain, September 11, 2020
Pedestrians walk near public health signs, whilst the reproduction R number of COVID-19 infections in the United Kingdom has risen and may be above 1, the Government Office for Science said on Friday, indicating a risk that the overall epidemic is growing, London, Britain, September 11, 2020 - Sputnik International
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LONDON (Sputnik) - UK Health Minister Matt Hancock urged people on Sunday to follow social distancing restrictions to avoid another national lockdown, as the United Kingdom is on the brink of a second wave of COVID-19.

"If people break the rules, then we are more likely to end up with national measures," Hancock told the BBC broadcaster.

After stressing that "it is absolutely critical that at this moment that everybody stops, takes a step back and realizes we all got a part to do," the health minister said that he does not want to see another national lockdown like the one that was imposed from March to May.

"The public needs to follow the rules, and that's why I say the country faces a choice," he added.

When asked if he would report to the police anyone he sees breaking the self-isolation rules, Hancock said he would, because "the self-isolation part is absolutely necessary … to break the chain of transmission."

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According to UK media reports, people in England will face fines between nearly $1,300 and $13,000 for violating quarantine measures aimed at stopping the second wave of the coronavirus infection in the UK.

Starting from September 28, people will be required to self-isolate if they test positive for COVID-19 or if they have come into contact with an infected person of face the fines, The Guardian said on Saturday.

As of Saturday, 390,358 people had tested positive for the COVID-19 in the United Kingdom, where 41,759 patients have died from the disease since the pandemic began.

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