UK health minister hints at review of lockdown fines

Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock holds a daily news conference on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain May 26, 2020. Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Handout via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) – British health minister Matt Hancock hinted at a review of fines for families who faced penalties for breaking lockdown rules, after a top government adviser received widespread public condemnation for his lockdown travel.

Asked whether fines would be rescinded for those who had given childcare-related justifications for breaking the lockdown, similar to those made by government adviser Dominic Cummings, Hancock said the government would consider this.

“We do understand the impact and the need for making sure that children get adequate childcare. That is one of the significant concerns that we’ve had all the way through this,” Hancock said at the government’s daily news conference.

“I think that (it) is … perfectly reasonable to take away that question. I’ll have to talk to my Treasury colleagues before I can answer it in full,” he added.

Reporting by David Milliken; editing by Stephen Addison

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