Coronavirus UK: A second national lockdown “cannot be ruled out”

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Britain has been warned that a second national lockdown has not been ruled out in the event of a second wave (Photo: PA / Getty Images)

The health secretary has warned that nationwide restrictions cannot be ruled out if there is a second wave of coronavirus.

Matt Hancock said the possibility of a second wave was “a very serious threat” and other countries were already seeing a spike in cases.

But the UK manages to keep the number of new cases “stable” thanks to the testing and traceability system and local lockdowns, he told The Times.

He said the UK could fight a bad flu and coronavirus growth as people spend more time indoors in the worst-case scenario.

“The cases are on the rise again and we have to resort to very extensive local lockdowns or take new national measures,” he said.

“We don’t rule it out, but we don’t want to see it.

It comes as local lockdown restrictions are to be relaxed in parts of Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire, which will allow social gatherings between two houses from Wednesday.

A policeman wears a face mask as he stands in the concourse of Waterloo Station in London on June 15, 2020 after new rules made it mandatory to wear face masks on public transport while the UK further facilitates its lockdown from the coronavirus.  - New rules relating to the coronavirus pandemic coming into force on June 15 make the wearing of masks or scarves mandatory on public transport, as various shops and outdoor attractions open for the first time in nearly three months.  (Photo by Niklas HALLE'N / AFP) (Photo by NIKLAS HALLE'N / AFP via Getty Images)

But Mr Hancock added that the UK was managing to keep the number of new cases ‘flat’ (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)

Mr Hancock added that a second wave could be “preventable but it’s not easy,” with schools reopening next week presenting new challenges in stopping the spread of the virus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday that schools were safe to attend as he encouraged every student to return to class.

“The evidence is overwhelming that it is in the best interests of the well-being and health of children, youth and students to return to school rather than miss more,” he said .

“So this is the safe and healthy thing to do.

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