Politics

Ministers plan end to coronavirus lockdown in June – with workers, areas or ‘immune’ released at different times


MINISTERS are planning to end the coronavirus lockdown by June- with workers, areas or the “immune” released at different times.

A team is said to be drawing up a list of options to remove the restrictions once the number of hospital admissions begins to fall.

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 Officers have threatened to arrest anyone who flouts the rules

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Officers have threatened to arrest anyone who flouts the rulesCredit: Represented by ZUMA Press, Inc.

According to The Times, civil servants have been asked to draw up options for a staggered release so Britain can get closer to being back to normal.

It comes after Treasury officials warned if the lockdown went beyond June the Government would not be able to stop normally successful businesses going under.

The restrictions are to be officially reviewed next week but with cases still rising there is little chance of anything changing soon.

Speaking this morning Housing and Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick refused to rule out the restrictions getting even more extreme.

He said: “We don’t have any imminent plans to do so but we do keep each of these measures under review.

“It would be very unfortunate if we had to do so and make it harder for people, particularly people who live in flats in towns and cities, to get the exercise they deserve.

“Nobody wants to see that happen.”

His comments come one day on from Health Secretary Matt Hancock admitting there was not yet a plan on how to end the lockdown.

He said: “Of course there’s a debate about what happens next and what happens after that.

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“But it is not a debate that we are concluding on in government because it is too early.”

The new Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has demanded more info about what happens next.

He said: “Ministers should be clear about their exit strategy.

“We should know what that exit strategy is, when the restrictions might be lifted and what the plan is for economic recovery.”

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A key adviser to the Government yesterday claimed they could not end the lockdown until they found a safe way to do so.

Professor Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London said: “I’m very conscious that people are suffering in this country right now — we all want it over as quickly as possible.

“But there’s no point in doing this unless we can find a strategy that allows us to exit and keep transmission low.”

It comes as former Prime Minister Tony Blair claimed mass testing was the only way to get back to normal.

He said: “Unless you are able to get mass testing, at scale, with speed, I don’t see how you get a way out of this lockdown.

It’s terrifying the economic damage we are doing every week in this lockdown.”

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