Coronavirus lockdown ‘will last until June’ as Brits face three months at home

Brits could face three months in lockdown in order to defeat the deadly coronavirus which has already claimed more than 1,000 lives in the UK, a government adviser claims.

This week Boris Johnson ordered the public to stay at home, only going out once a day for exercise and to do essential shopping and get medical care.

These strict conditions are unlikely to be lifted until early June, according to government advisor Professor Neil Ferguson.

He told the Sunday Times: "We’re going to have to keep these measures [the full lockdown] in place, in my view, for a significant period of time – probably until the end of May, maybe even early June.

"May is optimistic."

This morning cabinet member Michael Gove said the length of the lockdown was not "absolutely fixed".

It comes as the Prime Minister warns that the situation will get worse before it gets better.

Yesterday's death toll of 260 was the highest since the pandemic began, bringing the overall number of people to die from Covid-19 to 1,019.

It is thought there will be more than 5,000 deaths next month as Britain grapples with the killer virus which has already killed more than 30,000 worldwide.

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Mr Johnson, who has himself tested positive for coronavirus, has written to 30 million households across the UK urging them to stay at home.

The letters, which will arrive this week, say: "We know things will get worse before they get better.

"But we are making the right preparations, and the more we all follow the rules, the fewer lives will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal."

It comes amid fears people are still not following social distancing guidelines, with people pictured out-and-about in parks and markets yesterday.

The length of the coronavirus lockdown depends on how stringently the public stick to the rules, Cabinet minister Michael Gove said, as he declined to give a timeframe for the strict measures being lifted.

He warned that ministers would not hesitate to enforce tougher rules, but said the evidence is people are obeying them.

"There are different projections as to how long the lockdown might last," he told Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday, when asked about one key expert's prediction of June.

"But it's not the case that the length of the lockdown is something that is absolutely fixed.

"It depends on all of our behaviour. If we follow the guidelines, we can deal more effectively with the spread of the disease."

He insisted "it is important" that "we don't pre-empt discussion of what other steps may be required" when pressed on what further measures could be introduced.

In Spain, which has been in near-total lockdown for more than two weeks, 838 deaths were announced overnight, bringing the total number to 6,528.

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