Raab praises national effort as he confirms lockdown future will be addressed by PM this weekend

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab during a media briefing in Downing Street Picture: Pippa Fowles/10 Do

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab during a media briefing in Downing Street Picture: Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has praised the nations ongoing fight against coronavirus and confirmed that the Prime Minister would speak about the future of lockdown this weekend.

Mr Raab was speaking at the daily coronavirus press conference from Downing Street on Thursday afternoon.

During the conference Mr Raab praised what he called the “national team” effort to defeat the virus confirming that the rate of infection - known as the R value - was continuing to fall.

However, Mr Raab warned that there was still a long way for the UK to go.

“The virus is not beaten yet, it remains deadly and infectious,” said Mr Raab.

Mr Raab also alluded to the briefing Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to give on Sunday night when he is expected to announce changes to the current lockdown rules.

“This weekend the Prime Minister will set out the next steps which we can responsibly take over the following weeks, guided by the scientific advice and mindful - as we said right from the word go - of taking the right decisions at the right time,” said Mr Raab.

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“Now we can start setting out how we will live and work whilst maintaining the necessary social distancing rules, we can also be clear about those measures which are still necessary to prevent a second peak.”

Mr Raab said the Prime Minister’s announcement would provide a roadmap which would contain “appropriate measures to be taken at appropriate milestones, subject to very clear conditions”.

“There will be detailed guidance to help inform, advise and reassure the public, businesses and other organisations,” said Mr Raab.

“That way we can provide the country with a better understanding of what lies ahead, we can offer reassurance that we will adjust the restrictions to the minimum necessary to prevent a second spike in the virus and we can give people the confidence that we are doing it in a way that will protect life and preserve our way of life.”

However, Mr Raab warned that if members of the public failed to follow the prescribed rules then restrictions would be tightened up again. Mr Raab’s warning comes as the total number of people who have died from the coronavirus in the UK rose to 30,615.

Suffolk now has 1,209 confirmed cases of coronavirus while Essex has 2,778.

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