LIFTING in the UK of the coronavirus lockdown measures are going to be very gradual, according to Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab.
Speaking at the daily Downing Street Covid-19 briefing, Raab warned that if people “abandon the social distancing rules” the virus “will grow again at an exponential rate.”
“It will trigger another lockdown,” he stated.
The Foreign Secretary said the next steps the UK takes will be “sure-footed” and “sustainable” but if restrictions are eased and the infection level goes back up “we will tighten restrictions again.”
He added that Boris Johnson would set out the roadmap for the next phase on Sunday along with the conditions for each milestone in the easing of restrictions.
Raab said: “In relation to any changes we will be guided by the evidence. We have to take those decisions at the right moment. Whatever is being reported in the newspapers is not a reliable guide.”
He stated that “any changes in the short term will be modest, small, incremental” and very closely monitored. It is potentially catastrophic to move away from the stay-at-home message.”
Raab firmly pointed out that “there is no change today in the guidance or the rules, but that the PM will go through the roadmap on Sunday.”
Asked where the coronavirus is being contracted, Dr Jenny Harries, deputy chief medical officer for England, said it is “difficult to pinpoint” where people pick up the virus.
However, she said new survey data from the chain of transmission in households could provide more information.
Mr Raab said that care homes and hospitals are two “areas of concern” for the government.
Over how the government is preventing outbreaks in prison, Raab said that ministers have a plan and are taking “nothing for granted.”
However he said they are “confident we have the situation under control.”