Coronavirus lockdown: Ministers urge people to stay home for Easter

The Government has urged people to stay home over Easter as police warned they were ready to take action against those who flouted the coronavirus lockdown rules.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said it was still too soon for ministers to begin lifting the strict social distancing rules introduced last month.

Mr Raab – who is deputising for Boris Johnson while he is in intensive care – said they could not begin to start looking again at the measures until the end of next week.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (Pippa Fowles/Crown Copyright/10 Downing Street/PA)

His warning came amid fears that with fine weather forecast for the bank holiday weekend, crowds will again flock to beaches and beauty spots in defiance of the rules.

Earlier Downing Street offered the Government’s “full backing” to police forces seeking to enforce the restrictions over the holiday period.

The warning came as the latest official figures showed the number of hospital patients in the UK who had died after testing positive for Covid-19 had risen to 7,978 as of 5pm on Wednesday – an increase of 881 on the previous day.

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

At the daily No 10 press conference, Mr Raab acknowledged that it was hard for people hoping to go out and be with their families over Easter, but he urged them to show restraint amid signs the measures were having an impact.

“Unfortunately right now we just can’t do those sorts of things and I am really sorry about that,” he said.

“It’s been almost three weeks and we’re starting to see the impact of the sacrifices we’ve all made.

“But the deaths are still rising and we haven’t yet reached the peak of the virus. So it’s still too early to lift the measures that we put in place.

“We must stick to the plan and we must continue to be guided by the science.”

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)
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