When is the lockdown review and when could it be lifted? What we know so far

A review of lockdown measures will take place later this week after the hospital coronavirus death toll rose above 10,000.

Monday, 13th April 2020, 9:44 am

Ministers have said they want to be sure the UK is past the peak of the outbreak before easing the restrictions, but 10 members of the Cabinet are reportedly urging lockdown conditions to be eased amid concerns about the impact on the economy.

The Times quoted an unnamed minister as saying it was important not to do "more damage", and measures could be eased after another three weeks.

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A man wearing a mask walks past coronavirus related graffiti as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

When will the decision be made?

Scientific advisers will meet on Tuesday ahead of the formal review of the strict social distancing measures on Thursday, the deadline set out in law.

As part of possible plans for lifting some restrictions, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced a new NHS coronavirus app that the Government hopes will help stem the spread of the virus by helping people to self-isolate before they start showing symptoms.

What is happening elsewhere?

Some European countries have started to look at what life looks like after the lockdown but officials are warning that it will be a slow process.

Spain, which on Sunday reported its lowest daily growth in infections for three weeks, allowed workers in some non-essential industries to return to factories and construction sites today. However, prime minister Pedro Sánchez said the lockdown for the majority of the population will continue into next month.

The European commission chief, Ursula von der Leyen, told the German daily Bild that elderly people on the continent may need to remain isolated until at least the end of the year to protect them from the virus, even if freedom of movement is relaxed for others.

What is the lockdown doing to the UK economy?

Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who warned during his Budget last month that the UK risks falling into recession as a result of disruption caused by coronavirus, has injected £14 billion from the coronavirus emergency response fund into the NHS and local authorities.

A report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) think-tank suggested 25% of the UK economy could be lost by the summer due to the current controls in place, and the Times reported that Mr Sunak has told colleagues GDP could fall by a third in the second quarter.

The Government also continues to face pressure over shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline NHS staff, as a growing number of health workers died.

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers in England, which represents hospital trusts, told BBC Breakfast the supply of gowns - imported from China - was "hand-to-mouth".

He said the NHS ordered "a whole load of stock" weeks ago, but delays have been caused by the product sometimes failing safety tests, while other batches have been mislabelled - meaning the NHS has ended up with additional masks.

What has been the human cost so far?

On Sunday the Department of Health said, as of 5pm on Saturday, a total of 10,612 patients had died in UK hospitals after testing positive for coronavirus, up by 737 from 9,875 the previous day.