Government cannot rule out another national lockdown Home Secretary Priti Patel says

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Home Secretary Priti Patel has said the Govenment can rule nothing out when it comes to coronavirus restrictions – including another national lockdown.

However, her cabinet colleague Robert Jenrick, the Communities Secretary, has said it will do everything to avoid yet another period of shutdown in a bid to halt the spread of the virus.

Asked if she would rule out another national lockdown, Ms Patel she said: “Well I think at this stage of course we can rule nothing out because we are a Government that is focused on making sure that we stop the spread of this virus, and also we protect public health.

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Home Secretary Priti Patel. Photo by PA.Home Secretary Priti Patel. Photo by PA.
Home Secretary Priti Patel. Photo by PA.

“So we have been using, and we are using and we will continue to use, every single means available to us to do exactly that.”

Meanwhile, Mr Jenrick said the Government will “try everything in our power” to avoid a “blanket national lockdown”.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It is very concentrated in some places and so I think it is right that we try everything in our power to try to avoid a blanket national lockdown.”

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick. Photo by PA.Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick. Photo by PA.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick. Photo by PA.

Today, Thursday, October 29, he also said the Government’s “very firm view” is that a short national “circuit-breaker” lockdown would be the wrong approach, saying “you can’t have a stop-start country”.

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He also told Sky News: “We don’t want to create a second national lockdown.

"We know that has some effect on bearing down on the virus but we also know it’s immensely disruptive in other regards to people’s lives and livelihoods and broader health and wellbeing, so we will do everything we can to avoid that situation.”

Mr Jenrick said the new lockdowns in other European nations, including France, will have “long-term scarring effects” on people.

He added: “At the moment it is our very firm view that that is not the right approach for the country, it is not a short-term measure, it is likely to be for a number of weeks.

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“If it succeeded it is likely then needed to be repeated regularly – you can’t have a stop-start country where businesses are closing, people are losing their jobs, then they are having to restart again, the harm to people’s mental health and broader wellbeing, I think, would be immense.”

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