United Kingdom’s Tourism and Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston in an interview with BBC Breakfast, called upon people to not “risk the health of your loved ones” through “actually hugging them and risk the spread of the disease (COVID-19)”.
The Minister then went on to make a redundant statement, “Of course when you’re hugging someone, you’re in incredibly close proximity to them.” The U.K. Minister further went on, exhorting people to intervene if they witness “someone behaving in an odd way”.
“If you see someone behaving in an odd way then call them out on it”— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) March 29, 2021
Sports Minister, Nigel Huddleston MP says on #BBCBreakfast we should resist temptation to hug our loved ones ⤵️https://t.co/ISAN2H8U3m pic.twitter.com/g2GL3V59vX
“We all know the rules…if you see somebody behaving in a slightly odd way, then maybe call them out on it in a respectful way, because sometimes some people just forget,” Nigel Huddleston said in the same segment in which he asks people to resist the temptation of hugging their loved ones.
Huddleston later added that refusing physical contact was “a little bit awkward” but the right thing to do in these circumstances. It has been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic spread throughout the world.
The U.K. Minister’s statement has drawn reactions ranging from disbelief to laughter to scorn.
“In other words………. “If you see someone behaving like a human being then call them out on it””, said one Twitter user.
“Does he realize how ridiculous he sounds? So in theory he wants people to pull up others if they are seen to be participating in that most dangerous of activities, hugging their relatives? What a sad world this is becoming”, said another.
Many were defiantly against the Minister’s comments with one particular Twitter user saying, “I’m seeing my kids next weekend for the first time since the end of December! Wild horses wouldn’t stop me hugging them!”
The U.K. Minister made his remarks yesterday on the day when the U.K. moved towards easing their COVID-19 lockdown, with outdoor sports facilities, including tennis courts and golf courses, and weddings/gatherings of up to 6 people allowed outside.