Boris Johnson will tell the nation tonight it’s still too early to ease the lockdown (Credit: Crown Copyright )
Only small tweaks to the lockdown rules are on the cards, if anything.
The measures are set to be reviewed by May 7, and the Government insists nothing will change before then.
The coronavirus laws have to be looked at every three weeks, which would take us to the last few days of May before anything major is changed.
The PM – fresh from his return to work this week and his partner giving birth yesterday to a baby boy – will use the presser to warn that while infection rates are falling well, the government top scholars have warned him that easing up on the restrictions now is still very high risk.
A senior No 96 source said: “He’ll talk about the progress we’ve made so far in slowing the spread of the virus , and how we won’t do anything that might risk a return to exponential growth. ”
Allies say Boris is desperate to dampen down expectations among some (Tory MPs) and party fund for major changes, instead opting for a “caution first” approach – especially while the lockdown is still widely supported by the public.
While more Brits are urged to return to work if it is safe, and homes could be given the opportunity to socialize with one other household group, it is now expected that much of the nation’s strict measures will remain in place throughout May.
Smaller shops where it’s possible to social distance could also be opened.
Schools are not set to open until June at the very earliest, as it stands, but ministers want to try and get some kids back before the summer break, The Sun revealed today.
And garden centers are not set to reopen until after the Bank Holiday weekend, ministers suggested yesterday.
The PM’s deputy, (Dominic Raab) , also yesterday prepared the ground for limited changes, as he cited Germany’s lockdown U-turn as a warning to Britain.
He told MPs Berlin has been forced to “think twice” on easing restrictions after its low infection rate began to rise again.
Mr Raab also said at last night’s No press conference: “ Having relaxed restrictions in Germany Over the past week, they have seen a rise in the transmission rate of coronavirus.
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‘THE RISK IS VERY REAL’
“And Chancellor Merkel
has said publicly, and she has made it clear, that they might need a second lockdown in Germany if the infection rate continues to rise.
“So, this risk is very real, and it is vital that we proceed carefully, guided by the scientific advice, so that our next step through this crisis is a sure-footed one.”
Britain’s deputy chief medical officer also urged extreme caution.
Jonathan Van Tam said: “We have to be really careful and really sure-footed, or this virus will come back. Nothing can be rushed. ”
Nicola Sturgeon weighed in too, speaking just days after seeing out her ideas ending the lockdown, none of them will be put in place just yet.
And speaking last night, the SNP leader suggested no changes were incoming, despite a massive PR operation last week to lay out options to the public.
Last week she had said that the public needed to be treated like “grown ups” and Suggested several ways measures could be eased including seeing people in bubbles of ten friends.
But now she’s had to row back on her words and say nothing will change anytime soon.
She told ITV last night: “People talk about lifting the lockdown, that is not going to be a flick of the switch moment – we’re going to have to be very careful, very slow, very gradual.
“I’m far from convinced at this stage that when we get to the next review point on the 7th of May we’ll be in a position to lift any of these measures right now, because the margins of manoeuvre that we’re operating in right now are very, very, very tight and narrow. “
The PM said he would lay out plans to move to the next phase of the lockdown in the “coming days”, but warned Brits not to expect an exact date.
“We simply cannot spell out now how fast or slow or even when those changes will be made,” he stressed in a statement earlier this week.
He suggested that things could move very slowly, saying measures may be changed “one by one to fire up the engines of this vast UK economy”.
Yesterday Dominic Raab Warning UK hopes of lifting any lockdown measures could be hit by a possible (second wave of cases in Germany .
The country has seen its coronavirus transmission rate soar upwards after it relaxed some of its