Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove has said the length of the lockdown in the UK amid the Coronavirus pandemic is not fixed and depends on the behaviour of the public.
The comments came as Mr Gove spoke on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme.
Mr Gove said if people follow guidelines, the period of the lockdown can be shortened – however, he refused to give a time limit for the lockdown.
Professor Neil Ferguson from Imperial College London, who is advising the government, said that the lockdown could remain in place until June. Speaking to the Sunday Times, Professor Ferguson said;
“We’re going to have to keep these measures [the full lockdown] in place, in my view, for a significant period of time – probably until the end of May, maybe even early June. May is optimistic.”
Over 1,000 people have now died from the virus in the UK, and there are around 17,000 cases. Worldwide, there have now been over 677,000 cases confirmed, including over 31,000 deaths.
In a letter to every household in the UK, due to arrive through letterboxes next week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is warning Britons that “things will get worse before they get better”.
Mr Johnson and also the Health Secretary Matt Hancock are self-isolating after contracting the virus, while the government’s Cheif Medical Officer, Sir Chris Whitty is self-isolating with symptoms.
Photo: Michael Gove speaking at a Digital Press Conference on Friday | Credit: Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing Street under licence (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)