June 5, 2020 / 4:38 PM / a month ago

UK health minister urges people not to attend large demonstrations

Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock speaks during a daily briefing to update on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain June 2, 2020. Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Handout via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - British health minister Matt Hancock urged people on Friday not to attend large anti-racism demonstrations because of the risk of the coronavirus.

Tens of thousands marched through central London on Wednesday to protest against racism after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in Minneapolis, and further demonstrations are planned over the weekend.

“I understand why people are deeply upset but we are still facing a health crisis and coronavirus remains a real threat,” Hancock said at the government’s daily news conference.

“So please, for the safety of your loved ones, do not attend large gatherings, including demonstrations of more than six people.”

Reporting by William James and Andy Bruce; writing by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Stephen Addison

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