On Sunday evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation in a pre-recorded interview and outlined a new “conditional plan” which would slowly reopen society. Yesterday, in a 50-page document, the leader of the country set out detailed guidelines for the changes to lockdown which apply from tomorrow – including advice on returning to work, outdoor exercise and visiting one member of family outside your household. But there is still widespread confusion and Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby wanted clear concise answers from Matt Hancock MP during his appearance on This Morning about what people can and can’t do – especially when society could return to hugging one another.
Schofield began: “We, like a lot of people, were very confused by what we heard. It didn’t appear very clear at all, I know today you are trying to clarify everything.
“We are also fully aware you’ve never done this before, no one has been through this before to lock a country down and then attempt to unlock it. But do you agree that yesterday the government confused us?”
Hancock replied: “Well, I’m here to make sure everybody understands as best as possible what we are trying to achieve.”
But those watching at home saw Schofield interrupt: “But do you agree that yesterday the government confused us?”
“Well, I think we were quite clear,” Hancock hit back. “I did see the clip on the internet of some of your frustration Phillip and saw I thought the best thing to do was to come and answer the questions directly and make sure your viewers get it straight from the horse’s mouth.”
After discussing the logistics of why those living in England were only advised to see one parent at one time, to why reception and year one children are the chosen classes to return to school and education, and whether or not there is still enough PPE for hospitals, frontline staff and care workers, Schofield brought up the effects lockdown is having on people’s mental health and wellbeing.
“What’s your estimate for us, giving someone we just met a hug?” Schofield asked.
“Well, I wouldn’t recommend it,” the Health Secretary stated.
“But how long do you think until we’re through this and we look to that moment and say ‘Hi’ and give them a hug?” The presenter tried again.
Understandably, those watching at home did not welcome the suggestion and took to Twitter to comment.
One said: “Quite emotional watching @thismorning and @Schofe asking when we can hug friends again this is just a neverending nightmare.”
“@MattHancock Just stating that we can’t hug loved ones until at least the autumn on #thismorning. I don’t think I can wait that long! So I get to go back to work as a teacher in September before I can hug my parents or my sister?! This is ridiculous. Talk about #mentalhealth,” another remarked.
Someone else wrote: “how can matt hancock say that “summer 2020 is cancelled” and then say we will be expected to wait until Autumn (at earliest) for a vaccine enabling us to come into contact with others? Yet hospitality will begin to open in early July? #ThisMorning.”
Elsewhere during the interview, Hancock was asked whether summer was “cancelled”.
Schofield asked: “Do we now all have to come to the conclusion that summer is essentially cancelled? Holidays cancelled, it will be unlike any summer we have had since the Second World War.”
“I think that’s likely to be the case, we haven’t made a final decision on that but it is clear that we will seek to reopen hospitality, some hospitality from early July if we keep successfully reducing the spread of this virus,” Hancock answered.
This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.
Published at Tue, 12 May 2020 09:38:00 +0000