January 26, 2021

Coronavirus: Three-week lockdown extension set to be approved

Ministers are later expected to announce a three-week extension to the coronavirus lockdown.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will lead emergency Cobra committee and cabinet meetings about the continuation of social distancing measures.

Labour has said it will support an extension, but also called for details on how and when the lockdown would end.

Meanwhile, social care directors have said distribution of protective kit for carers has been “shambolic”.

Speaking at Wednesday’s daily press briefing, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said restrictions on movement were beginning to help reduce the spread of the virus.

But he warned “we will not lift these measures until it is safe to do so”.

The UK’s chief medical adviser, Prof Chris Whitty, has warned of a possible “bounce” in the numbers soon, due to delays in reporting deaths over the Easter weekend.

He said while the UK was “probably” reaching the peak of its epidemic, the high numbers of deaths were expected to continue for a “short while” longer.

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