Coronavirus: Should you go to work? Confusion after government conference

24 March 2020, 18:20

By Seán Hickey

Matt Hancock announced a new 4,000 patient hospital and 35,000 more medical staff for the NHS - however those already unsure of whether they should go into work were left confused.

The NHS Nightingale hospital will be situated on the grounds of the London ExCel centre in an unprecedented move by the government. In Matt Hancock's press conference, he announced "5,500 final year medics and 18,500 student nurses will move to the frontline" along with droves of retires NHS staff returning to work to combat coronavirus.

However Health Secretary was under fire from members of the press for not giving the public a clear message as to whether they should go to work or not during the lockdown, with the Scottish First Minister and the Mayor of London both calling for people on building sites to stay at home, as they aren't essential workers.

Ben Kentish- LBC's Westminster correspondent was on hand to give a reaction.

Ben said that the government's attitude is that the public must go to work unless told otherwise by their employers and if they are concerned for their health, they should raise concerns with their boss.

According to Labour Party members along with the Mayor of London "it should be only key workers to go to work, everyone else should stay home". Ben suggested that there is a divide in opinion of how the UK should be dealing with the coronavirus crisis.

Ben said that the Health Secretary is "sticking the boot in" by insisting that TfL should be running at a higher service as normal rather than reducing services in order to discourage people from using the network. He believed that images of packed tube trains would not have surfaced if the network was operating at a normal capacity rather than a reduced service.

On the subject of construction, questions arose at how the government justified allowing building sites to continue operating despite social distancing rules.

"There will be questions of the realism of workers on construction sites being able to work a busy day on a construction site two metres apart" Ben said, insisting that the government will have to assess the situation more closely and make a definitive decision over who should and who shouldn't be travelling into work.

You can listen to Ben's reaction at the top of the page.