By Alex Trelinski • 03 May 2020 • 19:00
CABINET minister Michael Gove has said that Boris Johnson will next week set out a plan on how the UK will see an easing of lockdown restrictions.
Speaking at Sunday’s Downing Street coronavirus briefing, Gove said: “His comprehensive plan will explain how we can get our economy moving, how we can get our children back to school, how we can travel to work more safely, and how we can make life in the workplace safer.”
But added that before we can ease the existing restrictions, “we must ensure the government’s five tests are met.”
The five tests include ensuring that the number of cases are falling, death rates are declining, the NHS is prepared, and that measures are in place to stop a second peak overwhelming the NHS.
Gove added that: “We’re consulting with employers and unions, professionals and public health experts, to establish how we can ensure that we have the safest possible working environments, and the prime minister will be saying more later this week.”
Asked how the government will eventually persuade people it is safe to go out when the lockdown is eased, the minister said that the government plans a “staged” return.
He revealed that ministers are also working with employers and unions to help workers understand safety guidance, and public servants will be offered protective equipment varying “from setting to setting.”
He also says it is possible that restrictions could be reimposed in a certain parts of the country if the virus “flares up” again.
A total of 28,446 people have now died with coronavirus across the UK, an increase of 315 on Saturday’s figure.
That number includes deaths in hospitals, care homes and the community, but only for those who have tested positive for Covid-19.
Prof Stephen Powis, the medical director for NHS England, said at the briefing that the peak of hospital admissions had now passed, especially in relation in London.
Over Covid-19 testing, the latest figures showed that testing had fallen to 76,496 tests in the 24 hours up to this Sunday morning.
That’s a drop of more than a third on the 122,000 tests carried out on April 30.
At the end of last week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the UK had met its target of carrying out 100,000 tests per day by the end of April.
However, the government came in for considerable criticism for including 40,000 tests which were dispatched and may not have been taken.
Professor Powis said that he anticipated that testing capacity “will continue to increase.”
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