A three-week extension to the coronavirus lockdown will likely be announced today, reports say.
Cabinet ministers are holding an emergency Cobra meeting today to discuss the extension of social distancing measures, and are expected to make a formal decision that will be announced this afternoon.
The initial lockdown was announced on March 23, as a means to limit the spread of the virus. Since then, Britons have only been allowed to leave their homes if absolutely essential, or to exercise once a day.
These regulations must be assessed every three weeks, to see if they are working, and this will be based on expert scientific and medical advice. Results of the first assessment will be discussed today in the daily briefing led by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson continues to recover from the virus.
Labour’s shadow health secretary Johnathon Ashworth told BBC Breakfast that he expected the lockdown measures to be extended for a further three weeks, and that Labour would back an extension.
Scottish and Welsh ministers have already said that their lockdown measures are set to continue, and the lockdown in Northern Ireland has officially been extended until May 9.
Unfortunately, the number of coronavirus cases is still on the rise, with the national total of deaths in UK hospitals reaching 12,868 — a daily increase of 761.
More to follow.