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Lockdown exit strategy needs to be explained to keep public trust, says Starmer

Lockdown exit strategy needs to be explained to keep public trust, says Starmer

Newly-elected Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said Britons need a clear path forward as they face 'great anxiety'.

The comments, made during Radio 4's Today program, come as the UK government is widely expected to announce an extension to Coronavirus lockdown measures on Thursday. The UK is now in its fourth week of lockdown measures, however, it looks like they could continue for some time, with it not thought that the country has hit its peak in the number of Coronavirus cases and deaths.

Speaking on Wednesday, Sir Keir said the Labour Party would support an extension of lockdown measures;

"I’ve written to Dominic Raab to say that we in the Labour Party will support the government on that because … we all want to see the number of cases come down and the number of tragic deaths come down"

However, not for the first time, Sir Keir has requested more clarity on what happens next, stressing the importance of the government setting out an exit strategy. He said, 

"Firstly, we’ve got to keep the trust of the public — we’re asking a lot of the public and they’ve given a lot in the last three weeks ... but for that trust there needs to be transparency and openness. They need to know what the thinking is on when lockdown will end."

They have been mixed messages circulating amongst experts, officials and the media over recent weeks over how an end to lockdown in the UK might be achieved. Some have suggested that mass-testing may be an option, while there have been other suggestions of the gradual lifting of lockdown measures, starting with young people returning to schools. Recently, the government and senior health officials have declined to comment on how the lockdown might come to an end.

According to latest figures from the Department of Health and Social Care, 12,107 people have died in UK hospitals after contracting the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

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