Coronavirus: Public told to continue to abide by lockdown

Environment secretary George Eustice during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavir

Environment secretary George Eustice during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus. Pic: Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The public have been urged to continue to abide by the current coronavirus lockdown restrictions despite the prime minister being expected to announce an easing of measures on Sunday.

That was the message as environment secretary George Eustice took part in the daily Downing Street briefing today (Friday, May 8) two days before prime minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce an easing of the lockdown measures.

Mr Eustice said: “I’m conscious that there is a great deal of speculation about what the prime minister might say on Sunday when he outlines a roadmap for the future and how we will evolve the current restrictions.

“The prime minister will outline any changes to the guidance on Sunday.

“But in the meantime, in spite of the sunny bank holiday, it is vitally important that we continue to abide by the current restrictions.

“Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives.”

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Mr Eustice said the UK is “not out of the woods” and that the UK will live with the virus for some time to come after Wales announced some changes to its own lockdown measures.

He said: “We will have to wait for what the prime minister has to say on Sunday but I think what I can say is this - he’s going to set out effectively a roadmap of how we can evolve the current restrictions.

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“We have this complete lockdown at the moment to something where certain activities may become possible in the short term, in the near term and other things might take much longer.

“We have to be realistic that there isn’t going to be any dramatic overnight change, we will be very very cautious as we loosen the restrictions we have, as the data that we’re outlining on a daily basis shows we are not out of the woods.”

Mr Eustice said more than one million food parcels had so far been delivered to the clinically vulnerable in society during the crisis.

The press conference heard the latest Department of Health figures showed that a total of 31,241 people had died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Thursday, up by 626 from the day before. Meanwhile, six more people have died in Norfolk’s hospitals from the virus.

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