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Coronavirus: Downing Street warns of second peak as it plays down chances of lockdown being eased soon

Downing Street have dismissed suggestions lockdown restrictions could be eased soon

2 min read

Downing Street has warned of the risks of a second wave of coronavirus infections as it played down the chances of lockdown measures being eased in the near future..

The Government is coming under mounting pressure to set out its strategy for easing the movement restrictions which have been in place since 23 March.

Reports at the weekend suggested ministers had drawn up a three-stage plan, with schools possibly re-opening next month.

However, it emerged on Monday morning that Boris Johnson had told senior aides that he was reluctant to relax the lockdown until the virus was under control.

In a briefing with journalists, the Prime Minister's spokesman said: "The big concern is a second peak. That is what ultimately will do the most damage to health and the economy.

"If you move too quickly then the virus could begin to spread exponentially again. The public will expect us to do everything we can to stop the spread of the virus and protect life."

He added: "If you get a second peak it is not just damaging for people's health. We will also end up in a second lockdown which would prolong the economic risks.

"We are taking the right decisions at the right time based on the scientific advice."

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is standing in for Boris Johnson while he recuperates from the virus, said last Thirsday that the UK's lockdown measures would be in place for "at least" another three weeks.

However, some senior Tory MPs have said the economic damage being done by the lockdown meant it should be eased sooner rather than later.

Former Brexit Secretary David David said it was "now essential we take the brakes off the economy".

Meanwhile, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: "Other countries have begun to set out a road map to lift restrictions in certain sectors of the economy and for certain services, especially social care, when the time is right.

"This of course must be done in a careful, considered way with public health, scientific evidence and the safety of workers and families at its heart. But the UK Government should be doing likewise."

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