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Government expects lockdown restrictions to remain

The government does not expect to make changes to coronavirus lockdown restrictions this week, Dominic Raab has said.

The foreign secretary, deputising for Prime Minister Boris Johnson while he continues to recover from the virus, said the UK’s plan “is working” but that “we are still not passed 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.

Mr Raab also said: “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.

The UK’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said the government was considering evidence on the impact of changing the guidance on whether people should wear face masks while outside. He said the government had seen “more persuasive” data suggesting masks can stop a person passing the virus on.

Deaths in UK hospitals rose to 11,329 – up by 717 in the last day.

Almost 90,000 people have tested positive in the UK.

Prof Chris Whitty, the UK government’s chief medical adviser, told the briefing that 92 care homes in the UK had detected an outbreak of coronavirus in the last day alone.

“Overall, in the last 24 hours, there are 92 care homes where an outbreak has been detected,” he said. “If an outbreak is suspected public health authorities will go in to do testing to check if an outbreak has taken place.”

This news came after 13 residents of one 72-bed care home in County Durham died after displaying symptoms.

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