Matt Hancock has said he would dob in his own neighbours if they failed to self-isolate. It comes as the Government introduces a massive fine of up to £10,000 for people who refuse to stay indoors after developing corona virus symptoms. The fine, which will be enforced from September 28, begins at £1,000 and rises to £10,000 for repeat offenders. Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, the health secretary said the Government knew who had been told to self-isolate through NHS Test and Trace.
He said ‘a combination of health professionals, the council and the police’ would ‘come down hard’ on people who didn’t follow the rules. He said: ‘We’re extremely clear that people must follow the rules, and if they don’t, we’re bringing in this much more stringent enforcement. ‘When we have contacted you through NHS Test and Trace and said that you must self-isolate, either because you’ve tested positive, or you’re a close contact of someone who has tested positive, then we know who those people are and we’re able to ensure they follow the rules.’ Asked whether he would report his own neighbours for flouting the rules, Mr Hancock said: ‘Yes, for the self-isolation part, that is absolutely necessary because that is how we break the chains of transmission.’
Home Secretary Priti Patel also said earlier in the week she would dob in her neighbours if they broke the ‘rule of six’, telling Sky News: ‘If I saw something that I thought was inappropriate, then quite frankly I would effectively call the police.’ However, Boris Johnson contradicted her and other Tory ministers when he said he did not like ‘sneak culture’. He suggested people speak to their neighbours first but should definitely phone the police if they are having a huge ‘Animal House party’ with ‘hot tubs’.
Mr Hancock denied that the Government was delivering ‘confused messages’ to the public who had been told to both report your neighbours and resist ‘sneak culture’. Asked whether the new £10,000 fine was brought in because the Government had ‘lost control of what was happening on the ground’, the health secretary said: ‘The public need to follow the rules and that’s why I say the country faces a choice. ‘If [people] go to a party where they think there might not be social distancing, or if there’s more than six people, then we are more likely to end up with national measures. ‘I don’t want to see those national measures but it is absolutely critical at this moment that everyone stops, takes a step back, and realises we’ve all got a part to play.’
Source: Metro UK