Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has warned against an abrupt end to coronavirus lockdown, as social distancing measures are extended across country.
It follows Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab’s announcement last night that current rules will remain in place for “at least” three more weeks in the UK and that five tests will need to be met before they can be lifted.
These include a consistent drop in death and infection rates, as well as confidence that allowing people back out of their homes would not cause a so-called second wave of Covid-19.
The government has been under pressure to provide details of an “exit strategy” for when restrictions are eventually lifted, but Mr Shapps said scientists would advise on “the right measures to use at the right time”.
He told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “Some [measures] will involve loosening and it’s possible that one or two things could involve tightening.
“It’s not that we don’t know, it’s just that we believe in being scientifically led.”
The Welwyn Hatfield MP also insisted that despite concerns over the pandemic’s economic impact, the return to normality would have to be “gradual”.
He said: “I have been the first to say it’s important that we have an economy to come back to and the whole of the Cabinet believes that and recognises it.
“We also know that we cannot simply go back to business as usual,” he continued, saying that this could overwhelm the NHS and social care sector.
talkRADIO: Listen live for the latest updates on Covid-19