Lockdown to last months until daily cases drop under 1,000

Chris Witty
Chris Witty

The coronavirus lockdown could remain in place for months until the number of new daily cases drops below 1,000 in the UK.

Ministers are reportedly set to warn that lockdown needs to stay for months, so the number of new cases falls below 1,000 a day. Some ministers were concerned after seeing Germany’s infection rate increase after easing its lockdown.

Chief Medical Officer Chris Witty also hinted a second peak could be worse than the first as the UK death toll topped 26,000. The tough message came as Mr. Johnson put the ‘R’ number – the reproduction rate of the virus – at the heart of the battle. He insisted nothing can be done that lets it rise above one, which would mean the outbreak was growing again.

Scientific adviser Patrick Vallance told the briefing that he believed the R was currently between 0.6 and 0.9 across the country, but in London, it’s thought to be down to between 0.5 and 0.7. Yesterday, more than 6,000 positive cases recorded, although this was in part down to massively increased testing.

On the Government’s advice, Sir David said: “It’s much harder to frighten to people to stay at home than it is to reassure them they can go out again. “Maybe our whole campaign has been if anything, slightly too successful.”