UK coronavirus lockdown will continue for ‘at least’ 3 weeks until 5 key targets are hit to avoid devastating 2nd peak


The First Secretary of State told the nation that their efforts to stay home and stop the spread of coronavirus had been working, but more time is needed to get a full grip on the crisis.

Dominic Raab has extended the UK lockdown for anther three weeks from today

He said this evening: “The Government has decided the current measures must remain in place for at least the next three weeks.”

And he laid out five tests that Britain must meet before the rules can be changed.

  1. The NHS must still be able to cope – with the confidence that critical care and special treatment can continue across the UK
  2. A sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rates so experts are confident that the peak has passed
  3. The rate of infection falling to “manageable levels”
  4. Making sure that Britain has enough testing capacity and PPE to relax measures
  5. Ensuring that the changes will not risk a second peak of infections that overwhelm the NHS

Mr Raab said that lifting any lockdown measures without those tests being met would risk a damaging second wave – which would harm health and the economy even more.

He added: “We must keep up this effort for a little while longer.

“We have sacificed far too much to ease up now.

“We are beginning to see the evidence that our efforts are starting to pay off – there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“If we rush, we would risk wasting all the sacrifice and progress that has been made

“Please, please, stay home, save lives, so we can return to normal lives as soon as possible.

“Now is not the moment to give the coronavirus a second chance.
“Let’s stick together, let’s see this through, and defeat the coronavirus for good.”

That means that the emergency measures first announced by Boris Johnson on March 23 will stay in place until at least May 7.

They will be reviewed again in May, when ministers will decide whether to lift any, but Mr Raab did not give any indication of whether they would be.

It means that rules on going outside the house, a ban on seeing friends or family outside of the household, and on exercising just once a day, will likely stay in place for now.

It comes after Mr Raab held an emergency COBRA meeting with the other devolved nations this afternoon.

They considered scientific advice which concluded that the shutdown measures had helped Britain control the pandemic, but experts said it was not yet time to ease off on them.

Patrick Vallance, the UK’s chief Scientific Adviser said the rate of transmission was likely to be less than one, now, thanks to social distancing measures.

But there is still spread of the infection in hospitals and in social care settings, he warned.

“The overall message is that cases are at least flattening and maybe decreasing,” he said.