Still ‘far too early’ to talk about relaxing lockdown, says foreign secretary
PUBLISHED: 18:45 13 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:18 14 April 2020
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has suggested “it is still far too early” to talk about easing lockdown measures in the UK.
Speaking at Monday’s Downing Street press conference, Mr Raab praised people for staying at home during the Easter weekend but warned it was still crucial the public kept following social distancing advice.
Mr Raab suggested “it is still far too early” to talk about the relaxing of measures and the changing of public advice around preventing the spread of COVID-19.
He said: “We are doing a lot of work in government to be guided by the science and the medical advice that you get and I think that, until you have got that evidence, we will be getting ahead of ourselves.”
He said the focus right now must be to keep up the national effort to ensure that social distancing is in place, adding: “There will come a time in the future where we can talk about relaxation or transition but we are not there now.”
Mr Raab praised people for staying at home during the bank holiday weekend, he said: “Our plan is working. Please stick with it and we’ll get through this crisis together.”
“At the end of last week we were concerned that people might start ignoring the advice or cutting corners given the temptation to go out into the sunshine.
“In fact the overwhelming majority of people stayed at home and understood the importance of doing so.
“By staying home this weekend, you’ve saved lives.
“Thank you, your efforts are making all the difference. And please keep them up - we’ve come too far, we’ve lost too many loved ones and we’ve sacrificed too much to ease up now.”
Mr Raab’s comments came after the hospital death toll passed 11,000, in Norfolk the number of deaths has surpassed the 100-mark.
A review of lockdown measures will take place by Thursday, the deadline set out in law.
Ministers have said they want to be sure the UK is past the peak of the outbreak before easing the restrictions, but 10 members of the Cabinet are reportedly urging lockdown conditions to be eased amid concerns about the impact on the economy.
Scientific advisers will meet on Tuesday ahead of the formal review of the strict social distancing measures on Thursday.
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