Britain’s scientific experts meet today to review how lockdown has worked – and extend it until May


They will also look at how they will extend the shutdown as the Government gears up to announce it will continue until May.

Police patrol to make sure Brits obey lockdown rules

Fill-in PM Dominic Raab said yesterday the lockdown was working, and there had been a massive effort by Brits to slow the spread of the virus.

But he said: “We don’t expect to make any changes to the measures currently in place.”

“We have come too far, lost too many loved ones and sacrificed too much to ease up.”

He said there could be a “second wave” of infections if restrictions were relaxed too soon.

He added: “We won’t (make changes) until we’re confident, as confident as we realistically can be, that any such changes can be safely made.”

Mr Raab is expected to announce the lockdown will continue until at least May 7 on Thursday.

The scientific advisory group (Sage) will meet today to analyse the data collected over the last three weeks of lockdown to see how far it has gone to stop the spread and save lives.

One of the critical measures they will look at will be how the strict social distancing rules have kept the NHS from being overwhelmed by cases of COVID-19.

Scientists and ministers have said from the beginning of the outbreak, keeping the NHS up and running was crucial in fighting coronavirus, so sick people who did need help would be able to get it.

The number of people travelling in motor vehicles and public transport has nosedived since the lockdown was brought in – a promising sign the shutdown is working.


But some people continued to ignore the rules over the long weekend.

Chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance said yesterday Britain needs to brace itself for another “difficult” week as deaths continue to soar.

He said evidence from other countries suggested death rates could then stay stagnant “for two or three weeks” after the “peak” before they start to fall.

The Government is also taking another look at whether it should be advising people to wear face masks.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) put out advice last week saying the general public should be wearing them, but Sir Patrick said Britain would make its own decision.

He said: “We’re actually looking at (face masks) again now. The evidence on masks is much more more persuasive for masks stopping you giving it to somebody than it is for preventing you catching it.

He added if there was “evidence that looks like we should change our advice, we would do so.”

Brits are not keen to be released from lockdown if it means it could spread the infection further – 74 per cent of people think restrictions should continue, even if it does damage the economy.

That’s compared with 61 per cent in the United States and 54 per cent in Germany and Sweden, according to pilling by Kekst CNC.

As well as economic damage, there are growing concerns people with other health conditions including cancer and heart disease could die preventable deaths if the lockdown continues too long.

Scientists will also be grappling with the spread of COVID-19 in aged care homes.

Chief Medical Office Professor Chris Whitty revealed yesterday 92 care homes across the country had had outbreaks of the deadly virus in 24 hours.

One care home in Durham have had 13 deaths at their facility.

Ministers are looking carefully at plans to re-open the UK, which could take months to return to normal.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffee said this morning: “We know this is going to take months to really win the war on coronavirus.”

Some people continued to flout lockdown rules over the weekend
Brits could all be told to wear face masks to stop spread