Matt Hancock instructed Britons to stick to the social distancing guidelines this weekend and reminded the public the UK is still on lockdown as the death toll continues to rise. The Health Secretary warned people will die if the public relax. It comes as the Department of Health confirmed 684 more people have died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus, bringing the total deaths in the UK to 3,605 as of 5pm on Thursday.
At this difficult time for frontline doctors and nurses, sign up here to show your support now to our brave NHS Heroes.
Speaking at Downing Street, Mr Hancock said: “We’re set for a warm weekend in some parts of the country but the disease is still spreading.
“We absolutely cannot afford to relax the social distancing measures that we have in place.
“We cannot relax our discipline now.
“If we do, people will die.
READ MORE: Coronavirus flights: Will Ryanair & easyJet let you change for free?
“This advice is not a request, it is an instruction. Stay at home. Protect lives and then you will be doing your part.”
Mr Hancock went on to explain the UK has more than 2,000 critical care beds still free for use in the fight against COVID-19.
The Nightingale Hospital, a new hospital in London erected in a conference centre to provide thousands of extra beds for patients with the coronavirus, opened on Friday.
He said: “Since the start of this crisis we’ve boosted the number of critical care beds to care for coronavirus by over 2,500. That’s before the addition we’ll get from the Nightingale hospitals.
“In every hospital in the country we have managed to expand capacity and as we stand today over 2000 critical care beds are free and available and they’re ready should they be needed.”
More to follow…