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The vast majority of people who went out on so-called super Saturday as coronavirus restrictions were eased in England “acted responsibly”, the health secretary has said.
Matt Hancock said most people were “doing the right thing” as pubs, restaurants, cafes and other venues reopened for the first time in three months.
But it came after the chairman of the Police Federation John Apter said it was “crystal clear” that drunk people are unable to follow the one metre-plus social distancing rules amid images of streets packed with drinkers in Soho, London.
Speaking on Sky’s Ridge On Sunday, Hancock said: “Well I think that from what I’ve seen, although there’s some pictures to the contrary, very, very largely people have acted responsibly.
“The large proportion of people, the vast majority of people are, I think, doing the right thing”.
However, he added: “But of course we’ll take action when we need to when... if the minority break the rules.”
On those who did not social distance, Hancock said: “Well we’ll of course keep this very closely under review, and you’ve seen for instance in Leicester but also in other places that we don’t shirk from bringing in more drastic measures if that is what’s needed to control the virus.”
Meanwhile, NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens warned that coronavirus will leave a “legacy for years to come” as he launched a new rehabilitation service for people suffering long-term effects of the virus.
Stevens said Covid-19 can leave “significant scarring on the lungs”, while Hancock said there was evidence that the disease can leave long-term effects that “look like a post-viral fatigue syndrome”.
To deal with the problems faced by a “minority” of people who have recovered, the NHS has launched a new Covid recovery service offering 12-weeks worth of online and...