United Kingdom extends lockdown for at least three weeks

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Dominic Raab, who is leading the Government while Prime Minister Boris Johnson is recovering from coronavirus, has just announced that people will be asked to stay at home until Wednesday, May 7, at the earliest.

Any lifting of the restrictions, he said, would depend on five conditions.

There also must be reliable data from SAGE that the infection rate has decreased to manageable levels.

During the briefing, Mr Raab said that the United Kingdom has been successful in slowing down the spread of the virus, however early relaxation would damage the economy and undo the progress which has been made so far.

"But based on this advice, the Government has determined that current measures must remain in place for at least the next 3 weeks", Saab said, as quoted on the government's website.

Raab hopes that extending the lockdown measures will ease the burden on Britain's National Health Service (NHS), flatten the curve and prevent further loss of life.

He said: "The Prime Minister said at the outset that it would take three months to come through the peak and I think that, broadly, is still the outline".

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"Risk a second peak in the virus ..."

Raab added that the government can't yet provide a detailed time frame for easing the restrictions.

"It would undo the progress we have made to date and as a result would require an even longer period of the more restrictive social distancing measures". "We will want, as the foreign secretary said, to look very carefully with our global partners at the hard questions of why the outbreak happened, why it couldn't be stopped earlier and what can be done to prevent it in the future".

He continued: "There are indications that the measures we have put in place have been successful in slowing down the spread of the virus".

The expert said that "R" was likely below 1 in the community but that it could be higher in certain hospitals and care settings.

Lockdown will continue for another three weeks.

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