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Coronavirus: Ministers under pressure to set out plan for how the UK exits lockdown

Britons have been told to remain indoors for nearly three weeks.

2 min read

Ministers are coming under mounting pressure to set out how they plan to ease the restrictions imposed on the country to tackle the coronavirus.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputising for Boris Johnson while he is treated for the disease in hospital, has confirmed that the lockdown will continue as the UK death toll continues to grow.

He said: "As we look forward to the Easter weekend, I know some people are going to start wondering 'is it time to ease up on the rules'?

"So I have to say thank you for your sacriricices but also we’re not done yet. We must keep going."

The strict social distancing measures were first introduced nearly three weeks ago, and are expected to remain in place for at least another month.

Mr Raab confirmed that ministers and officials were holding talks on an eventual exit strategy, but insisted the "immediate priority" had to be on slowing the spread of Covid-19.

Germany is expected to publish the criteria for lifting its own lockdown within days, while other European countries are already preparing to ease their restrictions.

Jon Ashworth, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, said it was time for the Uk Government to follow suit.

He said: "Labour urged the government to bring in the so-called ‘lock down’ and supports maintaining enforced social distancing to save lives and protect the NHS where it is based on medical evidence.

"The British public have shown tremendous resolve in adhering to measures but are understandably looking for greater clarity from ministers on their exit strategy.

"We’ve said previously that a ‘lock down’ in itself is a blunt tool without a national strategy for community testing and contact tracing.

"We’re calling on ministers to outline the next stage of their strategy to give the public the reassurance and clarity they expect."


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