DOMINIC Raab has warned that lockdown will be tightened again if there is an “uptick” in coronavirus infection rates.
The Foreign Secretary said the government will “target very carefully” measures to stop an increase in cases.
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His warning came as Brits planned BBQs and garden parties while crowds flocked to beaches to celebrate Boris Johnson’s plans to ease the lockdown, earlier this week.
Mr Raab told Sky’s Ridge on Sunday: “We will target, if there is any uptick, and it could be in a locality, it could be in a particular setting, we will target very carefully measures that would apply to it so that we can take these steps but also keep control of the virus.”
Under plans to loosen the draconian measures enforced during the lockdown, non-essential shops wil reopen from June 15 as well as restaurants and pubs set to open next month.
Schools are also set to go back tomorrow and Brits have been told that they can socialise in ‘social bubbles’ of up to 10 from six households.
Mr Raab’s comments come as government scientists stand divided over how quickly to lift lockdown restrictions.
Professor Devid Sridhar said that a spike in cases was “inevitable” because restrictions were being lifted too fast.
She also accused minister of ignoring the science after it emerged the Government’s Covid alert system has not changed despite today’s loosening of lockdown.
It’s a big risk and gamble for exiting lockdown with a larger number of deaths than we did when we actually entered lockdown months back
Professor Devid Sridhar
Prof Sridhar told Sophy Ridge: “If your objective is to contain the virus, to drive numbers down and to try to in a sense get rid of it so no-one is exposed to it, then it is not the right measure right now to open up.
“It’s a big risk and gamble for exiting lockdown with a larger number of deaths than we did when we actually entered lockdown months back.”
Prof Sridhar said there is now a clear divide between Government and some scientists, but added that ultimately decisions will be made by politicians.
She said: “I think what they should be saying is they consider the science, and hopefully they listen to it but the decision, and who actually has the accountability, are the politicians and leaders.”
But the Foreign Secretary defended the Government’s decision to ease restrictions, insisting “we can’t stay in lockdown forever”.
And he said government scientists “don’t all agree,” adding: “We wouldn’t expect them all to agree on a new pandemic.”
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