Coronavirus lockdown: ‘No dramatic overnight change’ to restrictions

George Eustice
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Environment minister George Eustice urged people to abide by the current rules to stay home

There will be “no dramatic overnight change” to lockdown restrictions, the environment secretary has said.

George Eustice also urged the public to abide by the current measures over the weekend, with Boris Johnson due to deliver an update on Sunday.

It comes after Wales announced minor changes from Monday – allowing people to exercise outside more often.

Mr Eustice also announced a £16m fund to deliver millions of meals to those struggling due to the pandemic.

A further 626 coronavirus deaths were confirmed on Friday, taking the UK total to 31,241, including a six-week-old baby with an underlying health condition.

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Wales will allow people exercise more than once a day and Scotland is considering similar measures

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said he wanted the nation to move in step with the rest of the UK when he announced the changes to its lockdown, which also included garden centres and libraries being able to reopen.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Friday the only change she was considering in the immediate term was to outdoor exercise.

Ms Sturgeon said there had been a “helpful recognition” from the prime minister that the four UK nations “may well move at different speeds if our data about the spread of the virus says that that is necessary to suppress it”.

Arlene Foster, Northern Ireland’s First Minister, said there would only be “nuanced changes” to measures in the region.

 
 

At the government’s daily briefing, Mr Eustice said millions of meals would be delivered over the next 12 weeks to help during “this enormously challenging time”.

At least 5,000 frontline charities across England will benefit from the cash which comes from the £750m pot announced for charities by Chancellor Rishi Sunak on 8 April.

The government announced 97,029 tests had been delivered on Thursday, just shy of the 100,000 target Health Secretary Matt Hancock set for the end of April.

That aim was achieved on 30 April and 1 May but has not been reached since.

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