Matt Hancock rules out removing "important" bubbles of support that are helping families cope with the pandemic as the new communicable strain of Covid raises fears of a tougher lockdown
- The health minister had previously refused to rule out the drastic step
- But tonight he said they were too important to fight for families to remove
- "They are an important part of the system we need to support the people."
Matt Hancock has ruled out removing Covid support bubbles to help families with the lockdown.
The Minister of Health was previously among those ministers who refused to rule out the drastic move, among other measures, to counter the dire spike in Covid cases and deaths.
However, at a press conference on Downing Street, he specifically said they were too important to families fighting to remove them.
“I can rule out that we will remove the existing bubbles. The child care bubbles, the support bubbles are very important and we will keep them, ”he said.
“I know how important they are to people. They are an important part of the system that we have to support the people while taking the tough measures necessary. & # 39;
But Mr. Hancock cautioned the public to stick with the people they wanted to bubble with.
The health minister was previously among those ministers who refused to rule out the drastic move, among other measures, to counter the dire surge in cases and deaths in Covid
Boris Johnson's future mother-in-law Josephine McAffee (pictured) has visited Downing Street to look after her little grandson Wilfred
This is our boy: Boris Johnson, Carrie Symonds and Wilfred on Downing Street last year
"The bubbles are there for individuals. For example, if you have bubbled with someone you bubbled with, you can no longer move bubbles. This is very important," said the Minister of Health.
They essentially become … part of your household so it is important that people stick to the same bubbles, but bubble politics persist. & # 39;
Under the lockdown rules, people with another household of any size can create a support bubble if they live alone or if their household includes a child who was under one year of age or younger on December 2nd last year.
Charity AgeUK welcomed the news, saying politics had empowered hundreds of thousands of older people to move on.
Caroline Abrahams, the charity's director, said: “Finding the right balance between infection control and wellbeing has been an ongoing challenge throughout the pandemic.
"But there is no doubt that for many older people who live alone, the ability to create a 'support bubble' has made a huge difference and gives them the strength to move on."
She added, "Hundreds of thousands of older people will be deeply relieved when the government says they intend to keep them."
One person who benefits from a support bubble is the prime minister himself.
His future mother-in-law visited Downing Street to take care of her little grandson, Wilfred.
Carrie Symonds' mother, Josephine McAffee, has reportedly created a "budget bubble" with her daughter and the Prime Minister to provide childcare.
She is supposed to help look after eight-month-old Wilfred in the spacious apartment above 11 Downing Street.
Mr Hancock warned tonight that while support bubbles are safe, the rules for two people from different households to exercise outdoors together could be torn apart if people continued to abuse them.
"If too many people break this rule, we have to look at them, but I don't want to," Hancock said of a # 10 brief tonight.
Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi expressed concerns that people are not following the rules in supermarkets and when exercising closely enough.
There are increasing suggestions that the restrictions may need to be tightened as the government has launched an initiative to ensure the public is abiding by the rules.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly discussed the prospect of tighter controls to ensure the public was complying with restrictions.
And England's Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty urged the public to stay home unless you absolutely have to go out.
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) News (t) News and updates from the UK Government on the UK Cabinet (t) Matt Hancock (t) Downing Street (t) Coronavirus Lockdowns