People wearing coronavirus masks

Coronavirus outbreak could see Government place entire UK cities on lockdown

It would have 'huge' downsides

Entire UK cities could be forced into lockdown to halt the spread of the deadly coronavirus, the Secretary of State has warned.

During an interview on Sunday (March 1 2020), MP Matt Hancock refused to rule out putting cities in Britain on official lockdown in a bid to contain the flu-like bug.

He said on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show: “There is clearly a huge economic and social downside to [shutting cities down].

Matt Hancock
MP Matt Hancock couldn’t rule out putting cities here on lockdown (Credit:

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“But we don’t take anything off the table at this stage because you have to make sure you have all the tools available, if that is what is necessary.”

Speaking further, Matt said it’s “inevitable” the virus will “become endemic” in Britain.

So far, 36 people in the UK have contracted coronavirus, which is understood to have originated in China before spreading to dozens of countries around the world.

Coronavirus masks worn on a train
Cases have been reported all over the world (Credit: Lee Jae-Won/AFLO /

The Secretary of State’s warning follows reports last week that a British man who contracted the virus had died.

The first British victim was reportedly a passenger aboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess, which was placed in quarantine near Yokohama in Japan last month.

Japan’s Kyodo news agency announced news of the man’s death on Friday (February 28 2020) afternoon.

He one of several people who were aboard the ship to die from the flu-like virus.

We don’t take anything off the table at this stage.

In February, it was reported that as much as 80 per cent of the UK population could eventually be infected with coronavirus.

A National Security Communications Team document reportedly seen by The Sun suggested that four in five people in the UK could contract Covid-19.

The percentage is equivalent to more than 50 million people and would lead to around 500,000 deaths, as experts have said the disease is believed to have a mortality rate of around one per cent.

People who have been to areas affected by the virus have been advised to self-isolate, including Channel 4 newsreader Jon Snow.

Jon Snow
Newsreader Jon Snow is among those self-isolating (Credit: Channel 4)

Read more: Liam Gallagher jokes he thought he had coronavirus on Twitter

And presenter Lorraine Kelly‘s daughter is also self-isolating, it was revealed this morning (March 2 2020).

The daytime TV host confirmed on her show that her 24-year-old daughter, Rosie, who lives in Singapore and works in public relations, started having symptoms of a cold, prompting the star’s husband Steve to fly out to Asia to be with her.

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