Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that they UK could see a second spike on coronavirus cases if young people continue to fail to follow social distancing.
Last week a third of all cases were people aged between 20 and 29-years old in England. On Sunday Hancock said he was “concerned” as the government announced 2,988 coronavirus cases, which is the highest figure since 23 May, when 2,959 cases were recorded.
Hancock also admitted that he has “concerns” as students are starting back at university this month, which fall into the 20 to 29-years old age bracket.
The Health Secretary said, “The numbers have been going up. And we’ve seen in other countries where this leads, and it is not a good place.”
Speaking to Radio 1 Newsbeat Hancock pointed to France and Spain, “where that second wave started largely amongst younger people, it then spreads.
“And now we’re seeing a sharp rise in the number of people in hospital and the number of people who are dying in those countries.
“That hasn’t happened here yet. And if people follow the social distancing rules, then we can stop that from happening here.”
He stressed how serious coronavirus can be for young people, even though they are less likely to die or get seriously ill.
Hancock warned, “Long Covid is really serious. And people can be in a bad way for months and months and months.
“The second really important message is that younger people spread the disease, even if they don’t have symptoms.
“Don’t kill your gran by catching coronavirus and then passing it on. And you can pass it on before you’ve had any symptoms at all.”
He told LBC Radio that in recent days there is a surge in coronavirus cases among the “more affluent younger people,” as the UK was only seeing a rise in cases during the summer months in deprived areas.
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