Coronavirus 'is getting out of control,' says skills minister

9 October 2020, 13:15

There was a warning today that the virus is 'getting out of control'
There was a warning today that the virus is 'getting out of control'. Picture: PA

Coronavirus "is serious" and is "getting out of control," a government minister has warned as she stressed something needs to be done to stop the spread.

Skills minister Gillian Keegan made the comments on Thursday evening ahead of an expected government announcement next week on further measures in England.

She explained in a TV appearance: "This is serious, it is getting out of control, and we have to do something to bring it back under control."

READ MORE: Chancellor to unveil new jobs support scheme for firms facing lockdown closure

It comes after Chief medical officer for England Professor Chris Whitty presented slides to MPs that showed pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes had accounted for 30% of "common exposure settings" of Covid-19.

Such settings are not indicative of confirmed transmissions, but are places visited by two or more people who are later confirmed to have the virus.

For those under-30, the data from Public Health England showed this percentage rose to 41%.

READ MORE: 'Marked increase' of covid-19 in England with estimated 224,400 cases

READ MORE: Minister defends hospitality shutdown based on data 'from 98 pubs'

On Friday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce "the next stage" of the Jobs Support Scheme as people living in the country's worst-hit areas brace for further restrictions on hospitality.

Cities in northern England, in particular, have been experiencing a large surge in virus cases, which may lead to a temporary shutdown of pubs and restaurants.

Referring to Friday's announcement, a Treasury spokeswoman said: "The chancellor will be setting out the next stage of the Job Support Scheme later today that will protect jobs and provide a safety net for those businesses that may have to close in the coming weeks and months."

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