Thursday, April 16, latest;
Dominic Raab has warned the public that lockdown measures could last into June as plans were confirmed for a three-week extension to the UK lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Setting out plans for a minimum three-week extension to prevent a deadly “second peak” of infections, Raab said that any relaxation now would “substantially increase the number of deaths”.
The UK Government held a COBRA commitee meeting earlier today as ministers came under increasing pressure to set out a detailed plan to ease the stringent restrictions.
Foreign Secretary Raab said: “Earlier today I chaired meetings of the Cabinet and Cobra to consider the advice from Sage on the impact of the existing social distancing measures.
“There are indications that the measures we have put in place have been successful in slowing down the spread of this virus. But Sage also say that is a mixed and inconsistent picture and, in some settings, infections are still likely to be increasing.”
He said five conditions needed to be met before the lockdown was eased:
- Making sure the NHS could cope
- A “sustained and consistent” fall in the daily death rate
- Reliable data showing the rate of infection was decreasing to “manageable levels”
- Ensuring the supply of tests and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) could meet future demand
- Being confident any adjustments would not risk a second peak