Coronavirus: Lifting lockdown requires balanced judgement – Gove

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Michael Gove

The government will make a “balanced judgement” when deciding how to relax the coronavirus lockdown, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has said.

The government does not yet have the information to show it would be safe to lift the restrictions, he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

It comes after a Sunday Times report said schools could reopen as early as 11 May as part of an exit plan.

Mr Gove dismissed that as “not true”, saying no decision had been made.

He also added that hospitality venues would be among the last to have restrictions lifted.

The UK’s lockdown was extended on Thursday for another three weeks.

Strict limits on daily life – such as requiring people to stay at home, shutting many businesses and preventing gatherings of more than two people – were first introduced on 23 March, as the government tried to limit the spread of coronavirus.

The latest figures for the UK show 15,464 people have died in hospitals.

Calls for the government to provide an exit plan to end the lockdown have intensified, and some other countries have begun to relax their measures.

Mr Gove said the UK government was taking “a deliberately cautious and measured approach guided by the science”.

He said: “When we have the information, when we have the data that allows us confidently to relax those restrictions we will do so, but that data, that information, is not yet in place.”

He also said that while the government was investing in trying to get a vaccine as “quickly as possible” it could not be certain when it would be ready.

“I don’t think it’s the case that anybody should automatically assume that a vaccine is a dead cert to come soon.”

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