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‘There is light at the end of the tunnel’ - coronavirus lockdown to continue to prevent second peak of infections

PUBLISHED: 18:05 16 April 2020 | UPDATED: 18:17 16 April 2020

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus (COVID-19) on April 16. Picture: Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright/PA Wire

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus (COVID-19) on April 16. Picture: Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright/PA Wire

Businesses, education leaders and households have mostly welcomed an extension to the coronavirus lockdown, despite the economic and day-to-day challenges posed by the restrictions.

Dawn Hopkins, landlady of the Rose Inn on Queens Road, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodDawn Hopkins, landlady of the Rose Inn on Queens Road, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

The announcement by foreign secretary Dominic Raab to carry on the lockdown across the UK for at least another three weeks was made in the daily press conference on Thursday, April 16.

Mario Luchai, owner of Trattoria Rustica Italian restaurant in Norwich. Picture: Louisa BaldwinMario Luchai, owner of Trattoria Rustica Italian restaurant in Norwich. Picture: Louisa Baldwin

It came on the day NHS England announced 740 new deaths of people who tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 12,396.

Steve Clemmett from Lowestoft Carpet and Rug company on Bevan Street East. Picture: Nick Butcher.Steve Clemmett from Lowestoft Carpet and Rug company on Bevan Street East. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Mr Raab appreciated the impact of the lockdown was considerable on people and businesses and said: “We know it is rough going. Together we must keep up this national effort for a while longer. There is light at the end of the tunnel but we are in a delicate stage of the pandemic. Please stay at home. Now is not the moment to give the coronavirus a second chance.”

The Government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said the levels of infection in the community was lowering but a second peak of infection would damage public health and the economy.

MORE: 15 more deaths confirmed at Norfolk hospitals

Reacting to the lockdown extension, Stuart Rimmer, CEO and principal of East Coast College, which has campuses in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, said: “Being in lockdown is not desirable but if feels like a necessity, and our priority is that the safety of students and staff has to come first.”

Chere Goddard, from the Norfolk Coronavirus Updates Facebook group, said: “I know it needs to be extended but it is very hard not seeing my grandchildren and I’m worried about my mum who is stuck inside.”

Lowestoft Carpet and Rug owner, Steve Clemmett, said: “There are going to be major problems. The Government ought to be prepared to give out more investments and grants to small businesses.”

Mario Luchai, 56, owner of Italian restaurant Trattoria Rustica in Princes Street, Norwich, said: “We have to open when it is safe. It has to be done properly.”

Dawn Hopkins, owner of the Rose Inn on Queens Road, Norwich, said the lockdown extension was inevitable and added: “I think the lockdown should have been done earlier.”

For the latest COVID-19 news, visit the Norfolk Coronavirus Updates Facebook page.

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