Moving too quickly in easing lockdown measures could lead to a second peak in the virus outbreak, Downing Street has warned.
In response to reports about Boris Johnson favouring a cautious approach to lifting restrictions, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The big concern is a second peak.
“That is what ultimately will do the most damage to health and the most damage to the economy.
“If you move too quickly then the virus could begin to spread exponentially again.
“The public will expect us to do everything we can to stop the spread of the virus and protect lives.”
‘If you move too quickly then the virus could begin to spread exponentially again.’Official spokesman of Prime Minister Boris Johnson
The warning comes as Scotland’s death toll from coronavirus has risen to 915 – an increase of 12 from Sunday’s figures.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed the latest figures during her daily briefing in Edinburgh on Monday.
She said the Scottish Government will set out “towards the end of this week” a framework which will guide its lifting of lockdown measures.
The Prime Minister is said to be receiving daily written updates on the coronavirus response as he continues his recovery at Chequers, but is not doing Government work.
His spokesman told a Westminster briefing: “The Prime Minister is continuing his recovery at Chequers. He isn’t doing Government work.
“He has been receiving updates on the coronavirus response, and he has spoken with the First Secretary of State, as well as senior members of his Number 10 team.”
The spokesman refused to be drawn on when Johnson would return to work, but said he would be “guided by the advice of his medical team”.
Dominic Raab continues to deputise for the PM, Number 10 added.
Decisions on the lockdown will be based on advice from Sage – the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies – which is due by the end of the month.
Asked whether the lockdown restrictions could be modified rather than lifted entirely, the official spokesman said: “If you move too quickly, lifting the social distancing measures wholesale, then that could lead to the virus spreading exponentially again.”
He pointed to Raab’s suggestion that the next steps could involve relaxing measures in some areas while strengthening them in others.