Chris Whitty warned against imposing a 'sex ban' during the first weeks of the coronavirus lockdown in March 2020
Why it matters
The leaked messages provide insight into the government's decision-making process during the early stages of the pandemic and highlight the challenges faced in balancing public health concerns with individual freedoms.
What the papers say
All sources report on the leaked WhatsApp messages and the debate around the guidance for non-cohabiting couples during the first lockdown. The sources differ in their level of detail and emphasis on certain aspects of the story.
How we got here
The leaked messages are part of a trove of more than 100,000 WhatsApp messages provided to The Daily Telegraph by journalist Isabel Oakeshott, who co-authored Matt Hancock's memoir, 'Pandemic Diaries', which covered his time as health secretary. The reporting has reignited rows about the UK Government's handling of the pandemic, even as Mr Hancock and others have described them as only a 'partial' account.
More on these topics
Matthew John David Hancock is a British politician serving as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care since 2018. A member of the Conservative Party, he previously served as Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in 2018 for six mo
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson Hon FRIBA is a British politician, writer, and former journalist serving as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party since 2019.
Sir Patrick John Thompson Vallance FRS FMedSci FRCP is a British physician, scientist, and clinical pharmacologist who has worked in both academia and industry and, since March 2018, has been the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of the United Ki