İrem UZUN -TDO- Dominic Raab on Wednesday declared that lockdown restrictions in the UK will continue for at least another three weeks as it tackles the coronavirus outbreak. In a daily coronavirus news briefing in No10, Raab said relaxing the measures now would risk harming public health and the economy. "We still don't have the infection rate down as far as we need to... The current measures must remain in place for at least the next three weeks" he said. On Thursday, the UK recorded another 861 coronavirus deaths, taking the total to 13,729.
The UK's lockdown had already surpassed the original three-week timescale laid out by the prime minister last month. The latest extension takes the lockdown to at least 7 May, and Raab hinted it would likely go further in light of a previous suggestion by the prime minister that the UK could "turn the tide" of the virus within 12 weeks. Raab said that was "broadly the outline" for when the UK might expect to return to some normalcy.
Raab laid out five factors the government "must be satisfied of" before deciding to ease the lockdown: “Confidence that the National Health Service (NHS) can still provide sufficient critical care and specialist treatment across the UK, the need to see a sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rate to be confident we are beyond the peak, reliable data from Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) that the infection rate has decreased to manageable level, testing capacity and personal protective equipment (PPE) is in hand to meet supply for future demand, not risk a second peak of infection that overwhelms the NHS”.