Dr Hilary hits out at Brits flouting social distancing rules on the beach

21 May 2020, 10:44 | Updated: 21 May 2020, 11:01

Dr Hilary told Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid that some people aren't taking coronavirus seriously enough.

Dr Hilary has criticised Brits who flouted social distancing rules on the beach, after a number of pictures emerged of people packed close together enjoying the hot weather.

Discussing the photos with Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain today, he said: "It says that people aren't taking this virus seriously enough. A lot of people think it's all over, we've got a handle on it, the NHS is coping, lockdown is easing, life goes back to normal.

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Dr Hilary spoke about the NHS on today's episode of GMB
Dr Hilary spoke about the NHS on today's episode of GMB. Picture: ITV

When Piers pointed out that some people might think the virus is on its way out, following the news that there were no new cases in London recorded yesterday, Dr Hilary reiterated that it is very much still circulating.

He said: "The reality is we've got more cases in the north of England and other parts of the country, and we're probably seeing a peak in care homes right now.

"The virus is still out there, it's still circulating, and doctors are very worried about a second peak because of people becoming too complacent, and thinking it's all over. It isn't.

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Dr Hilary also pointed out that situations like this could pose a problem with the NHS Track and Trace app, saying: "It makes a mockery of test and trace right there, doesn’t it?"

"How, if you test positive for Covid-19, and a contact tracer says 'where have you been in the last few days?' and you say, I was on the beach in Bournemouth or Southend-on-Sea amongst those crowds, who do you know who was next to you? 


They were discussing pictures of packed beaches in England, such as this one of Brighton beach
They were discussing pictures of packed beaches in England, such as this one of Brighton beach. Picture: PA

"You can’t possibly trace people, and that’s the problem isn’t it? So when people start flouting social distancing rules, and we go out and lockdown in this kind of way, you can’t trace those people."

Dr Hilary also spoke out on how the app works, saying: "It picks up if you've been in contact for more than 15 minutes, as I understand it, in close contact with somebody - even outside."

He also confirmed that while it wouldn't include someone you passed in the park, it would include sitting or sunbathing next to someone.

The doctor added: "It's anonymous, you wouldn't know who the contact is, so that's one benefit. It's pretty secure as I understand. The bluetooth doesn't run down too quickly.

"However, not everyone has smart phones; the elderly don't often have smart phones."

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