Dr Hilary Jones has explained why the 10pm curfew imposed by the government on pubs, bars and restaurants is necessary amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The medical professional locked horns with Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday morning, as he tried to reason why the curfew is necessary in reducing the rate of the virus spreading.
New government restrictions will see pubs, bars and restaurants close by 10pm, with Dr Hilary stressing the need to limit human contact during the pandemic.
‘I suppose observationally, if you look at what goes on in popular pubs, bars and restaurants there’s a greater amount of alcohol consumed. People forget then, they hug, they kiss,’ he reasoned.
When Piers suggested that people will just go out earlier and drink faster, Dr Hilary hit back: ‘People finish work, they come home, they go out, by 10pm they’re still relatively sober.
‘You have to put a time on there if you want to restrict social gatherings. You have to do something, the transmission rate is going up, hospitalisation is going up. You can’t get rid of the virus, you have to live with the virus, so what can we do?’
Dr Hilary continued: ‘First of all, we need to stop so many households mixing together, the rule of six is very well, but it means that in England six households can meet. Then, there’s five people that can bring it back to other people. It’s risky.’
Piers then suggested that it could be a better option to close pubs, restraurants and bars down entirely, but Dr Hilary disagreed.
‘Pubs and restaurants are adopting very stringent social distancing rules, the risk is very small. The real risk is large groups of different households mixing.’
Piers wasn’t so convinced and suggested the curfew will just see people go back to other’s people homes instead, with the presenter arguing: ‘Many young people aren’t abiding by these rules. Maybe that’s because they don’t understand the rules.
‘I’ve got three kids, they’re all very smart – they want to look at it logically, but they’re saying it doesn’t make sense.’
Piers was then seen clashing with Dr Hilary over a new graph released that suggests cases of coronavirus could rise in the UK to 45,000 per day.
Dr Hilary stressed that the graph was based on date currently being connected and is based on a scenario that could happen if nothing is done to combat the spread of virus – it is not a prediction.
‘If you’re looking at north of England right now, we’re seeing 5,000 cases right now yesterday, if that’s doubling in a week you’ve got your 10,000 right there and if that happens again you’ve got 20,000,’ Dr Hilary explained.
‘It’s based on what’s happening here in the last few weeks, it’s not a prediction it’s a scenario. It could be that people aren’t adhering to the guidelines. If we are abiding by what we are supposed to and not mixing together in different households, we won’t need to apply stricter restrictions.’
‘What worries me right now is i get a real sense of people out there sick and tired of this, they’re looking at these rules thinking, “I just don’t get that,”‘ Piers responded.
There are currently around 399,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the UK, with the number of deaths now reaching over 41,700.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.
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