“It’s absolutely essential that people now stick to these rules and remember the basics – wash your hands, cover your face, keep space for others, and get tested if you have symptoms.”
Ministers agreed with the decision with Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Chief Science Officer Patrick Vallance at a Cabinet meeting.
It came after the prime minister held a conference call with senior police officials last week, in which officers expressed their wish to simplify the rules on social contact.
Coming into force on Monday, the rules will apply across England, to all ages, to gatherings indoors and outdoors, in private homes, outdoor public spaces and all venues including pubs and restaurants.
Lockout Rules: Gatherings like this will now be banned after infection increases
Some legal exemptions will be possible, especially when a household support bubble is greater than six or when the gatherings are for work or education purposes.
Other exemptions will also apply to weddings, funerals and organized team sports.
A massive media blitz must be launched today to warn of the need to continue to observe government guidelines on coronaviruses.
Under the slogan “Hands – Space – Face”, the campaign will encourage people to continue to wash their hands, cover their faces when necessary and move away socially to control infection rates and avoid a second spike.
The ads will carry the message on television, radio, in the press and on social media.
At the Cabinet meeting, Mr Johnson told ministers to be “extremely vigilant” about the spread of the virus and warned the public – and young people in particular – against complacency.
And in a sign of willingness to reintroduce lockdown measures to stem a second wave, the government last night forced restaurants and pubs in Bolton, Lancashire, to offer take-out only.
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Health Secretary Matt Hancock pleaded with young people, including students, to ‘stick with it’ and not ignore social distancing amid fears of outbreaks of infections among young people who put the lives of older citizens at risk.
“It must be a moment of clarity for all of us. It is not finished.
“Just because we have crossed a peak does not mean that we cannot see another coming towards our shores,” the health secretary told MPs today.
He added: “We have seen a worrying increase in the number of positive cases, especially among young people.
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“These figures serve as a salutary reminder that this virus is still very present and remains a threat, so it is essential that we maintain our collective commitment to fight this disease.”
Mr Hancock said evidence from France and Spain showed initial surges of cases among young people spreading to the rest of the community.
“We have seen all over the world how an increase in cases, first among young people, then spreads, leading to hospitalizations and deaths,” he told MPs.
“But together we can face it, as long as we remember that, in a pandemic, our actions today have consequences tomorrow for the people we love, for our communities and for our country.
“Every citizen has a responsibility to monitor social distancing and help stop a second peak.”
Mr Hancock announced that draconian lockdowns were being reintroduced in Bolton by the government and local council.
“The increase in cases in Bolton is in part due to the socialization of people in their 20s and 30s; we know from contact tracing, ”he said.
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Matt Hancock today announced new measures in Bolton
Hotel businesses in the city will be limited to take-out only, and venues will have to close at 10 p.m.
“We are urgently going to introduce new measures that will transpose the current guidelines – which people cannot socialize outside their homes – into law,” he said.
Mr Hancock told MPs: “Basically we all have a role to play. Young people don’t just pass the virus on to each other. They passed the virus on to their parents and grandparents.
“They released it to those they come in contact with and others they love.
“I know that social distancing can be difficult and it will be very difficult for students who are starting college, but I ask them to stick to this and play their part in bringing this virus under control.”
He added: “This virus thrives on complacency, and although time has passed since the peak of spring, the threat posed by the virus has not gone away.
“Now, with winter on the horizon, we all need to redouble our efforts and roll back this virus.”
Ministers were briefed on the infection figures by Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Chief Science Officer Sir Patrick Vallance at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting.
Mr Johnson warned ministers other countries had seen an increase in infections, later followed by an increase in hospitalizations.
It is “vital” to prevent young people from infecting people of older generations who could become seriously ill, the prime minister said.
As part of the ad campaign, a new video is being released to show exactly how the coronavirus is spreading indoors.
Through a scientific reconstruction of everyday scenarios, the film shows how interactions between people, surfaces and air spread the virus.
The film also reflects how the coronavirus is spread through droplets that come out of our nose and mouth.
Professor Whitty said: “As winter approaches and we inevitably spend more time indoors, we need the public to continue to follow these important tips to control the spread of the virus.
“’Hands. Face. Space ’emphasizes the important pieces of advice that we want everyone to remember: wash your hands regularly, use a face mask when social distancing is not possible, and try to keep your distance from those who are not in your household.
Bolton has seen an increase in coronavirus infections
“Following these simple steps could make a significant difference in reducing the transmission of Covid-19 and help protect you and your friends, colleagues and family from the virus. ”
Professor Catherine Noakes, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) specializing in airborne infections, said: “Coronavirus is emitted in tiny droplets when we breathe, talk, laugh or cough.
“Other people can be exposed to it when they are close to someone infected with the virus or when they are in a poorly ventilated room for a long time.
“Wearing a face covering prevents most of these droplets from being released into the air and can also reduce the number of droplets you are exposed to.
“This is why wearing a face cover is a vital first line of defense against catching and spreading the virus, as well as regular and thorough washing of hands with soap and water and maintaining from a safe distance as far as possible. “