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Dominic Raab has warned that lockdown measures could be tightened again if the plans to ease the lockdown starting next Monday don't work.
Raab explained at today's coronavirus daily briefing that the point at which the lockdown measures are slackened will be the 'point of maximum risk' and that the measures could be brought back into force if the science shows that it is not going to plan.
The Foreign Secretary warned that if people 'abandon the social distancing rules' we will see the virus 'grow again at an exponential rate'.
He added: "It will trigger another lockdown."
The Prime Minister confirmed yesterday that an announcement will be made on Sunday that will outline the UK Government's plan to exit the lockdown that came into force on March 24.
He said that he wants to see some of those changes come into effect starting from the beginning of next week, but Raab today urged caution by suggesting that those measure could return if the data suggests that would stave off further damage from the virus.
As of today, 30,615 people have died in hospital as a result of Covid-19, a rise of 539 people from yesterday.
Boris Johnson revealed that he wants the UK to start leaving the lockdown on Monday at yesterday's Prime Minister's Questions, during which he faced new Labour leader Keir Starmer for the first time.
Johnson was asked if he would be present for the May 11 sitting of the House of Commons to present the next steps for exiting the lockdown, and said that there would be a statement to the public made on Sunday night.
The PM said that he wanted to 'get going with some of the lockdown easing measures on Monday' but said that the announcement would take place on Sunday - rather than the proposed date, which was today - because 'we have to be sure that the data is going to support our ability to do this'.
He added: 'But that data is coming in continuously over the next few days'.
Johnson said that the statement would be made because it will be helpful 'if people have an idea of what is coming the following day'.
On Tuesday, Scotland's First Minister agreed that the 'severity of restrictions we're living under' cannot go on indefinitely, but could only be eased if that were done gradually, and not like 'flipping a switch'.
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