A planned reopening of casinos in England for Saturday has been postponed until at least August 15 as the United Kingdom government tightens restrictions on Manchester and other areas of northern England. "Our assessment is that we should now squeeze that brake pedal", he told a Downing Street briefing.
Just as things were starting to loosen up, the Government has mandated that it is against the rules to meet with people outside your social bubble in your own home and has plunged a number of communities in England under local lockdown.
Taking to Twitter before the restrictions were put in place at midnight, Mr Hancock said: "We're constantly looking at the latest data on the spread of coronavirus, and unfortunately we've seen an increasing rate of transmission in parts of Northern England".
And 846 cases were reported - the highest number of cases in a day for a month, which took the total to 303,910.
However, Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said "I don't think it is helpful" to talk yet of a second wave sweeping across Europe.
News that the reopening of English casinos, bowling alleys and ice rinks would be postponed came today in a press conference hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Andy Burnham, the mayor of Manchester, backed the measures due to an increase in infections.
He said: "Over recent days, there has been a marked change in the picture across Greater Manchester with regard to the spread of Covid-19".
"We have a rise in nine out of the 10 boroughs, the reality on the ground is changing".
However, the new measures have come under criticism from the opposition Labour party.
On Thursday night the United Kingdom government announced new local lockdown measures in areas of Northern England due to a spike in coronavirus cases.
An outbreak of coronavirus has been identified in parts of Northern England, which resulted in the government imposing tighter lockdown restrictions in the area on Thursday night.
The measures also came into force just as celebrations of the Muslim festival Eid al-Adha began.
What areas have been affected?
Hancock said Leicester would now follow the same ban on meetings between different households being applied to Manchester and parts of West Yorkshire and East Lancashire.
The measures are the second batch of regional restrictions imposed to try to curb a second wave of the virus in Britain, following a stricter local lockdown in the central England city of Leicester.