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Monday, May 18, latest;

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab says it is ‘not sustainable’ to keep lockdown in place, with the Government continuing to monitor the situation ‘very closely’.

Speaking at the daily briefing, the Foreign Secretary said it is true to say that making any changes inherently comes with some risk of spreading compared with simply staying at home, however, he added that ‘staying in permanent lockdown is itself not sustainable on health grounds or economic grounds.’

The UK has had strict restrictions on movement since March 23, like many other countries around the world.

“We have only eased measures where it can be done with the lowest risk possible.

“That’s also why we are watching the impact of every change we make very closely.”

Meanwhile, England’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, said the country had to prepare in case it came back in the autumn and winter and that the country will only be ‘out of this’ once a vaccine is available that is ‘really capable of suppressing disease levels’.

“So from that perspective we may have to live, and learn to live, with this virus in the long-term, certainly for many months to come if not several years,” he said.

He said more information was needed on the seasonality of Covid-19.

“One of the things that’s very clear with flu viruses is that they come in our cold winters and the levels of transmission and circulation decline over the summer months.

“The data we have on other coronaviruses we have looked at very carefully, and it’s not clear that these coronaviruses are as seasonal as influenza.

“But there may be an element of seasonality and it may well be that the autumn and winter conditions provide a better environment for the virus to then do its work again.”

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