Brits warned changes to ease lockdown 'will be limited' and could be tightened at any time

7 May 2020, 18:10 | Updated: 7 May 2020, 18:51

Dominic Raab has warned any changes to the lockdown will be limited
Dominic Raab has warned any changes to the lockdown will be limited. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Brits have been urged to remain in their homes over the bank holiday weekend as the government comes under more pressure to reveal their plans on how to let the country edge out of lockdown.

Speaking at the daily Downing Street press conference, Dominic Raab said a "roadmap" on how the rules might be changed will come at the weekend.

It had been rumoured that rules could be relaxed by Boris Johnson, who himself hinted to the Commons on Wednesday measures could be rolled back as early as Monday.

But today the foreign secretary told the nation it needed to remain at home for the early May Bank Holiday.

Mr Raab said the rate of infection - the R value - was between 0.5 and 0.9 and the number of new coronavirus cases and daily death toll were both "steadily falling".

But he added: "The virus is not beaten yet, it remains deadly and infectious."

The Prime Minister will make an address to the nation on Sunday to inform people what the next steps are.

But Mr Raab said any short-term changes in the restrictions announced by Mr Johnson will be very small.

Boris Johnson will set out a "roadmap" on how measures will be changed on Sunday
Boris Johnson will set out a "roadmap" on how measures will be changed on Sunday. Picture: PA

"Any changes in the short term will be modest, small, incremental and very carefully monitored," he told the No 10 press conference.

"If we find in the future the R level goes back up or that people aren't following the rules, we must have the ability then to put back measures in place."

He said the existing rules would still apply over the coming bank holiday weekend.

"For the moment it is really important, particularly as people look towards a warm bank holiday weekend, that we continue to follow the guidance in place at this time."

Scotland today confirmed the lockdown was being extended with current rules in place for a further three weeks, indicating that Northern Ireland, Wales and England will be following suit.

Current lockdown rules are remaining in place over the bank holiday weekend
Current lockdown rules are remaining in place over the bank holiday weekend. Picture: PA

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "Throughout we have said we would take a four-nation approach and we believe that provides the best way forward.

"The four nations entered the restrictions at the same time and should, where it makes sense, exit the restrictions at the same time.

"We agree that the only circumstances where there should be divergence is when there is evidence that supports it."

But the exact details have still not been confirmed to the public although it appears initial changes will focus on the amount of time people are allowed to spend outside.

It appears initial changes will focus on the amount of time people are allowed to spend outside.

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Public Health England has signalled the "stay home" message could be abandoned and reports suggest that those using benches, having picnics or sunbathing will no longer be asked to move on, provided they keep two metres apart.

It means families may even be allowed to travel to the countryside for walks and day trips, as long as they follow social distancing rules.

Matt Hancock suggested on Wednesday that outdoor "pavement cafes" could be put in place over the summer which, if successful, may prompt further use in future.

Employees in non-essential industries who have been operating from home may well be allowed to return to work, with the Government expected to call for masks to be worn on public transport during busy periods.

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