People across the UK took to social media on Saturday morning as reports emerged suggesting ministers are considering a partial lifting of the nationwide lockdown. A Whitehall source told the Daily Mail: “If we can find a way to allow a bit more flexibility without risking transmission of the disease running higher then we will do it.” After more than a month of little to no social contact, the plan would see millions of families reunite with relatives and close friends in “clusters”.
Households would have the opportunity to share childcare and people could meet with a small number of outsiders for meals and activities at home.
Many have welcomed the idea of social interaction being slowly reintroduced.
But others have warned it is far too early to allow people to safely mix with those outside their homes.
One person tweeted: “Bad idea…way too soon.”
Another said the pressure cap suppressing the number of new cases of coronavirus each day “will blow” if the lockdown is rolled back.
He said: “There’s already far more traffic on the road than at the start of the lockdown.
“If and when Ministers allow clusters of 10, the pressure cap holding this together will blow, in my humble opinion.
“Not that people don’t desperately need a return to some kind of normal.”
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On Friday Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the lockdown would not be relaxed until Ministers were certain a second wave of coronavirus was not on the cards.
Britain is edging closer to the grim milestone of 20,000 coronavirus hospital deaths.
The death toll from COVID-19 in hospitals across the United Kingdom increased on Friday by 684 in 24 hours to 19,506.
Passing the 20,000 mark will be an uncomfortable moment for Boris Johnson’s administration.
The Prime Minister is expected to return to work on Monday after recovering from coronavirus.
On March 17, before the lockdown was ordered, Mr Johnson’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said that keeping the toll under 20,000 be “a good outcome in terms of where we would hope to get.”