Lockdown measures to remain in place for at least another three weeks
Lockdown restrictions across the UK are to remain in place for at least three more weeks.
The current measures have been in place since the end of March, when Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered the closure of all non essential shops and urged people to work from home if possible.
The lockdown extension was formally announced by UK Government during the daily press briefing at Downing Street this afternoon.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputising for Boris Johnson said, the UK Government has determined that current measures must remain in place for at least the next 3 weeks.
He said: “Now, in terms of the decisions that lie ahead, we want to be as up front with the British people as we possibly can.
So, let me set out 5 specific things which the Government will need to be satisfied of before we will consider it safe to adjust any of the current measures.
First, we must protect the NHS’s ability to cope.
We must be confident that we are able to provide sufficient critical care and specialist treatment right across the UK.
The NHS staff have been incredible.
We must continue to support them as much as we can.
Second, we need to see a sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rates from coronavirus so we are confident that we have moved beyond the peak.
Third, we need to have reliable data from SAGE showing that the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels across the board.
Fourth, we need to be confident that the range of operational challenges, including testing capacity and PPE, are in hand, with supply able to meet future demand.
Fifth, and this is really crucial, we need to be confident that any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak of infections that overwhelm the NHS.
The worst thing we could do now is ease up too soon and allow a second peak of the virus to hit the NHS and hit the British people.
It would be the worst outcome, not just for public health, but for the economy and for our country as a whole.
So, the current restrictions will remain in place.”
Mark Drakeford, has issued a statement, he said:
“I, along with the First Ministers of Scotland and Northern Ireland attended the UK Government’s COBR meeting.
We each confirmed our decisions that the current restrictions on movement to protect the NHS and so to save lives should continue for another three weeks.
This is based on expert scientific analysis of the latest data on the coronavirus outbreak across the UK.
I know that the last three weeks have been very difficult for many people.
I want to thank everyone in Wales for the way each of us is dealing with these challenging circumstances.
While we have seen some positive signs in the data, it is still too early to change course in dealing with this deadly virus.
Many more lives are at stake, and too many families have already lost loved ones.
Our health services are still open for everyone.
Andrew Goodall, NHS Wales Chief Executive, explains that medical help is still available if you’re unwell with non-coronavirus symptoms 👇 pic.twitter.com/cZgapLHhOm
— Welsh Government (@WelshGovernment) April 16, 2020
Nevertheless, the decision to extend the lockdown is not one that has been taken lightly.
But I am clear that we cannot risk throwing away all the sacrifices we have made here in Wales over the last few weeks by lifting the restrictions too soon.
That could mean more deaths and, in the long run, even greater impact on people’s jobs and livelihoods.
Our approach will continue to be driven by the best information and the best advice we can secure.
We will go on taking the decisions that are right for Wales , and at the right time so that together we go on protecting our NHS and so to save lives.”
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