Coronavirus: What is the government's strategy to lift lockdown?

4 April 2020, 17:56

By Seán Hickey

LBC's Westminster correspondent Ben Kentish quizzed Michael Gove on the government's strategy to lift lockdown in the future.

Michael Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster took the government's daily coronavirus press conference where he urged the public to abide by the current guidelines around social distancing.

Ben Kentish was a virtual guest at 10 Downing Street as the government take questions through a remote link and he wanted to know, seeing as the government cannot clearly say when lockdown will end, he wanted to see if Michael Gove and the National Medical Director of NHS England, Stephen Powis.

Michael Gove insisted that how and when the UK comes out of lockdown simply depends on the compliance of Brits.

"The more effectively people comply with advice, the better we can prepare for a lift on lockdown" Mr. Gove said.

"We're dealing with a new virus whose spread and capacity to cause death is greater than we've seen before" the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster said.

He told Ben that the government must "have all tools ready as we move into next stage."

Michael Gove was answering questions from LBC's Ben Kentish
Michael Gove was answering questions from LBC's Ben Kentish. Picture: PA

Sir Stephen Powis answered questions from Ben surrounding how the medical community would prepare for a lockdown, and how it would impact on the government's response.

Sir Stephen told Ben that the UK will be taking a response acted upon by the decisions of countries all over the globe. "All countries will be thinking and working together to see what the exit strategy will be" he told Ben.

It isn't a slow process to come up with a strategy to lift lockdown nor to manage infections, Mr. Powis said. He revealed to Ben that it is a time consuming exercise to come up with infection strategy and the government and health system couldn't yet think about a strategy of lifting restrictions.

They added that on the subject of immunity, it has to be discovered "what sort of immunity is generated in people and how long does that immunity last" before a lift in lockdown is decided on with immunity being a central reason for the easing of restrictions.

"This is the reality of dealing with a virus" Sir Stephen Powis noted, assuring Ben that there is no easy way to begin dealing with lifting lockdown restrictions.

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