Labour calls for ‘clarity’ in lockdown exit plan

Thursday, April 16, 2020

The shadow health secretary has called on the government to provide “transparency and clarity” on how it will approach the loosening of lockdown rules when the time comes.

Jonathan Ashworth told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer that he wants “details about what comes next” in the battle against coronavirus.

“I believe that the way in which we manage our exit from this lockdown until we get that vaccine is by really scaling up our testing and tracing capabilities,” he said.

The Labour frontbencher added: “I think we need more details on what is the testing plan because that’s how you will manage the spread of this virus in the coming months if you want to be out of this lockdown.”

WATCH: Matt Hancock says it is 'too early to say' how long lockdown could last

The government review of the current social distancing measures is due to take place day.

Lockdown is expected to be extended by another three weeks with the continued aim of slowing the spread of Covid-19 and minimising the pressure on the NHS.

However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has refused to be drawn on what could happen beyond the lockdown extension, telling Julia he did not want to confuse the current message.

He said this morning: “We are asking the public to do things that are completely different from how normal life existed just a couple of months ago and the clarity of message - stay at home - has helped make sure that we have very high levels of adherence to the social distancing rules and that is helping to control the virus.

“How we as ministers communicate has a direct impact on how many lives are saved - and that’s why we’re very careful about what we say and aren’t going to get into speculation.”

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