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Here is more from what Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, said as he replied to Matt Hancock’s statement.
In recent weeks we’ve had people told to travel hundreds of miles for a test, we’ve had hundreds of children out of school unable to get a test. We’ve had tracers sitting idle watching Netflix. We’ve had care home tests taking days to be processed.
Yesterday we had a health minister saying this could be a moment of national pride like the Olympics. We’ve had a prime minister in a complete muddle over the rules and now, at one of the most crucial points in this pandemic, we learn that almost 16,000 positive cases when unreported for a week.
At the end of his statement Matt Hancock signalled that the government will soon announce a system to simplify local lockdown rules. It is expected to opt for a three-tier system.
Hancock said it was “critical” the UK’s Covid-19 rules were “clear at a local level” so the public could “be certain of what they need to do” to suppress the virus. He went on:
I’ll update the house in due course on what action the government is taking so we can have more consistent approaches to levels of local action, working with our colleagues in local government.