Following consideration of the scientific evidence by COBRA and Cabinet, the Government has announced an extension to the UK lockdown for at least the next three weeks.
While the evidence currently was described as mixed and inconsistent, there are signs that the efforts taken so far are beginning to pay off. But lifting restrictions too soon risk undermining the efforts we have made to date.
Making the announcement, the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, urged the public to continue to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives. He added:
“the advice from SAGE is relaxing any of the measures currently in place could risk damage to both public health and our economy.”
“It has been an incredible national effort. Now is not the time to give the coronavirus a second chance.”
Mr Raab also highlighted that there are 5 key criteria which must be met before the Government would consider the relaxation of current social distancing and self-isolation measures.
- Must protect the NHS’ ability to cope and be confident we can provide sufficient critical care capacity
- Evidence of sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rates
- Reliable data from sage that rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels across the board
- Confident that operational challenges including testing capacity and provision of PPE are in hand with supply able to meet future demand
- Must be confident that any adjustments will not risk a second peak of infections.
Commenting on the announcement, Dr Ben Spencer said:
“The response of people in Runnymede and Weybridge in supporting these measures and each other has been phenomenal. I know the lockdown is a heavy burden but we must follow scientific advice to protect the NHS and save lives. We will get through to the other side of this national emergency together.”
If you are aware of anyone in need of support obtaining essential care or services, including access to food and prescriptions, during this time, please do call 01932 838383 for residents in Runnymede, or 0300 200 1008 for residents in Weybridge.