UK Lock down extended for next three weeks
With the desperately sad news that 13,729 people have now lost their lives in hospitals, and many more in the community, earlier today Matt Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care said now is not the time to relax. Now, at 5pm this afternoon, we saw the UK lock down extended for a further three weeks.
Ministers have shown remarkable restraint under the constant questioning from journalists as to when the UK lock down will end. That is until yesterday when Nadine Dorries the Health Minister (who herself has had the Coronavirus) exasperatedly tweeted the only time we can fully exit the lock down is when we have a vaccine and until then it would be more helpful to talk about how to relax the lock down whilst still protecting the most vulnerable in society and ensure the NHS can stay below capacity.
Journalists should stop asking about an ‘exit strategy.’ There is only one way we can ‘exit’ full lockdown and that is when we have a vaccine. Until then, we need to find ways we can adapt society and strike a balance between the health of the nation and our economy . #COVID19
— Nadine Dorries 🇬🇧 (@NadineDorries) April 15, 2020
UK Lock down extended
It has been very clear, despite constant questions as to when the lock down would end, that we would see the UK Lock down extended today. This was confirmed by Dominic Raab, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and deputising for Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
He started by saying their primary aim has been to protect the NHS at the same time as expanding capacity and in order to do this the UK wide lock down was implemented. Having chaired a COBRA meeting with insights from SAGE, The Secretary reported that overall the infection rate is still not down as far as is needed to protect the country. Any change to the social distancing measures now would risk a significant increase in the number of infections and deaths and as a result would require an even longer period of lock down, probably with a second peak of the Coronavirus.
When will the UK lock down end?
The current measures must remain in place for at least the next three weeks and until the following five conditions are satisfied:
- We must protect the NHS
- We need to see a sustained and consistent fall in daily death rates
- The Government needs reliable data from SAGE that infections are falling
- We need PPE in place to satisfy future demand
- The Government needs to be sure that any relaxation would not result in a second peak of the virus hitting the NHS and the British people
The government will only relax measures when the scientific advice and evidences suggests it’s possible, which to protect the population and the economy, may involve some relaxations but at the same time some more stringent measures. Doing what is right for the British people, according to Dominic Rabb, is at the moment to keep the UK Lock down extended for at least the next three weeks.