No change on lockdown rules this week, Government announces
There are not likely to be any changes to lockdown restrictions this week, the Government has announced.
Speaking at the daily Downing Street press conference, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the UK was still not past the peak of the coronavirus pandemic and that lockdown rules introduced three weeks ago would continue.
He said the UK plan to deal with COVID-19 "is working" but that "we are still not past the peak of this virus".
"Keep this up, we have come too far, lost too many loved ones and sacrificed too much to ease up," he said.
It came as deaths in UK hospitals rose to 11,329 - up by 717 since Sunday.
Mr Raab - who is standing in for Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he recovers from his coronavirus infection - said a meeting of scientific advisers would take place to review evidence relating to the current lockdown restrictions this week.
"We don't expect to make any changes to the measures currently in place at that point and we won't until we're confident, as confident as we realistically can be, that any such changes can be safely made," he said.
He told the daily Downing Street news conference that easing restrictions too early would "risk a second wave" of infections.
And responding to claims the government lacks an exit strategy, Mr Raab said it was "crucially important that we do not take our eye off the ball or the public's focus" on social distancing measures.