Covid-19: Matt Hancock categorically rules out axing support bubbles

11 January 2021, 17:49 | Updated: 11 January 2021, 20:19

By Kate Buck

The Health Secretary has ruled out axing childcare and support bubbles, acknowledging they are "very important".

It had been rumoured they could be taken away with tougher coronavirus restrictions, but the Matt Hancock today said they would remain, but urged people to stick to the same bubble to reduce infection rates.

During today's Downing Street conference he said: "I can rule out removing the bubbles that we have in place - the childcare bubbles (and) the support bubbles are very important and we're going to keep them.

"I know how important they are to people and they are an important part of the system that we have got to support people whilst also having these tough measures that are necessary."

Matt Hancock said childcare and support bubbles will continue
Matt Hancock said childcare and support bubbles will continue. Picture: PA

He continued: "The bubbles are there for individual, specific people - so if you have bubbled with somebody, that is the person you have bubbled with.

"You can't keep moving bubbles, that's very important. Somebody in your bubble essentially becomes effectively part of your household.

"It is important that people stick to the same bubble but the bubbles policy will stay."

Mr Hancock also announced that 2.3 million people have now received at least one Covid-19 vaccination dose and 2.6 million individual jabs have been administered.

It means around 200,000 vaccinations were given just today, after the Prime Minister earlier gave a figure of 2.4 million jabs.

Vaccinations are well underway in the UK now, and it is hoped those in the top four priority groups will be given their first jab by the end of February.

Speaking at the Downing Street conference today, Mr Hancock said these would account for "88% of all Covid deaths."