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Coronavirus lockdown: 'No dramatic overnight change' to restrictions

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Environment minister George Eustice urged people to abide by the current rules to stay home
There will be no "dramatic overnight change" to lockdown restrictions, the environment secretary has said.George Eustice also urged the public to abide by the current measures over the weekend, with Boris Johnson due to deliver an update on Sunday.It comes after Wales announced "modest" changes from Monday - allowing people to exercise outside more often.Mr Eustice also announced a
Asked by the BBC's Ben Wright about whether the UK government would ease restrictions in line with the announcement from Wales, Mr Eustice said the government would be "very, very cautious". He reiterated that the "stay at home" message remained in place over the "sunny bank holiday weekend".He also said that while each of the devolved nations might take slightly different approaches, they were working together "to try to have a broadly similar UK approach".When asked whether the R rate - the rate at which the virus spreads - had to remain universally low across the UK before lockdown could be lifted, Prof Stephen Powis, national medical director of NHS England, said it would vary from place to place but "the important thing is that as a whole it stays below one".The R rate is the number of people that one infected person will pass the virus on to on average.
Wales will allow people exercise more than once a day and Scotland is considering similar measures
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have the power to make their own decisions on lockdown regulations - and could lift restrictions at a different rate.Earlier, Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford said he wanted the nation to move in step with the rest of the UK when he announced the changes to its lockdown, which included allowing garden centres and libraries to reopen.Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Friday the only change she was considering in the immediate term was on the limits to outdoor exercise.Ms Sturgeon said there had been a "helpful recognition" from the prime minister that the four UK nations "may well move at different speeds if our data about the spread of the virus says that that is necessary to suppress it".Arlene Foster, Northern Ireland's First Minister, said there would only be "nuanced changes" to measures in the region.
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At the government's daily briefing, Mr Eustice said millions of meals would be delivered over the next 12 weeks to help during "this enormously challenging time". At least 5,000 frontline charities across England will benefit from the cash which comes from the ?750m pot announced for charities by Chancellor Rishi Sunak on 8 April.The government announced 97,029 tests had been delivered on Thursday, just shy of the 100,000 target Health Secretary Matt Hancock set for the end of April.That aim was achieved on 30 April and 1 May but has not been reached since.When asked why in some cases it was taking up to 10 days for people to get their test results back, Mr Eustice said there would be daily fluctuations in availability of tests in any given area.The prime minister has set a target of increasing testing capacity to 200,000 by the end of May.Prof Powis also told the briefing that data would be published on the deaths of those with learning disabilities and autism who had tested positive for coronavirus.He said: "We're looking at how we can report on those groups and I'll commit that from next week we will be publishing data on learning disabilities, autism and mental health patients who died in acute hospitals, and we'll do that on an ongoing basis."
Coronavirus lockdown measures
Coronavirus pandemic
George Eustice
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