His comments come as local Covid-19 restrictions have been relaxed in northern England, which will allow social gatherings between two homes from Wednesday in Bolton, Stockport, Trafford, Burnley, Hyndburn and parts of Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees.
Mr Hancock said 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.
Speaking to ITV News, Mr Hancock said: ‘We plan a lot to make sure the NHS is prepared and can cope so people can have as much freedom as possible to enjoy Christmas, to enjoy the winter. . ”
But when asked if there would be special rules to allow more people to visit each other on Christmas, Mr Hancock suggested that this could lead to an increase in the number of people infected with the virus.
“The danger with a rule like this is that it increases the spread of disease,” he said.
“I mean, there’s a ton of things I wish I could do, but the risk is that we will see an increase in the disease. Therefore, we had to make decisions that you wouldn’t ever want to want. “