Matt Hancock gives advice for those 'yearning to have some physical contact'

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has advised people to be “careful” when hugging others from Monday, adding he plans to hug his mother and father although this is likely to take place outdoors.

Sunday, 16th May 2021, 10:33 am
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock gives an interview to Sky outside the BBC before the Andrew Marr show on May 16, 2021 in London, England. Today's show takes place a day before the UK further eases its Covid-19 lockdown measures, permitting more indoor activities and mixing of different households. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock gives an interview to Sky outside the BBC before the Andrew Marr show on May 16, 2021 in London, England. Today's show takes place a day before the UK further eases its Covid-19 lockdown measures, permitting more indoor activities and mixing of different households. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

The return of hugging is one of a number of steps back to normality possible from May 17 as restrictions ease.

He told Sky News: “We should all be careful, we all know the risks, outside is safer than inside – so even though you can, from tomorrow, meet up inside, it’s still better to meet up outside.

“Of course there are people who have been yearning to have some physical contact – you should do that carefully. If you’ve had both jabs more than two weeks ago, that’s much safer.

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“I was asked on Tuesday and I said the thing I’m really looking forward to is hugging my mum, she’s had two jabs – actually dad got quite upset about that, I’m really looking forward to hugging you as well, dad, but we’ll probably do it outside and keep the ventilation going: hands, face and space.

“We all have a personal responsibility, we all know now the sorts of things that are riskier but we’re able because the case numbers are so low to move away from some of the more restrictive interventions.

“I think personal responsibility is an important mantra here because people have been so responsible through the crisis and they’ve really listened and followed the guidance and instructions that the Prime Minister set out, and that’s the approach we should take together.”

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