Restrictions on public life to stay in place for now during continued effort to slow spread of coronavirus

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab

Social distancing measures and current curbs on public life must continue to stay in place as the country continues its fight to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The measures were initially due to be reviewed around April 13 – three weeks since they came into effect on March 23- but although this may still happen Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said at the public briefing today (April 9) that “we’re not done yet.”

Mr Raab thanked key workers and the public for the sacrifices made but said it was too early to lift emergency measiures.

He said: “The Government is continuing to gather all of the relevant data to obtain the fullest picture possible of the effect of the social distancing measures we have put in place.

“Now, while the early signs suggest that they are having the impact we need to see, it’s too early to say that conclusively.

“SAGE will meet next week to discuss the latest evidence, and we will keep the measures we have put in place under review. And as we’ve said on many occasions now, we will be guided by the science at all times. So we don’t expect to be able to say more on this until the end of next week.

“The measures will have to stay in place, until we’ve got the evidence that clearly shows we have moved beyond the peak.

“I know these restrictions take their toll, day in day out. On people’s livelihoods, on people’s quality of life, on people’s mental health. And I appreciate that it’s often the little things that hurt the most.

“With the Easter Bank Holiday coming up, I would normally spend it with my two boys, 7 and 5 year old boys, with their grandparents doing an Easter egg hunt. And I know there is going to be lots of people who would normally be planning a family get together or just getting out in the sunshine with friends and loved ones. Unfortunately, right now, we just can’t do those sorts of things. And I am really sorry about that.

“But take a moment to think of the progress we’ve already made, Following the guidance, staying home, denying this virus what it needs, to spread more easily and to kill more people.

“It’s been almost three weeks, and we’re starting to see the impact of the sacrifices we’ve all made. But the deaths are still rising, and we haven’t yet reached the peak of the virus. So it’s still too early to lift the measures that we’ve put in place. We must stick to the plan. And we must continue to be guided by the science.

Our top priority, our immediate priority, remains to slow the spread of the virus and to save as many lives as possible. That’s why we have to ask you to continue to ask you all to keep complying with the guidance.”

It was revealed at the briefing that new coronavirus cases are beginning to level off, suggesting that social isolation measures  are working, although it could be up to two weeks before this can be shown conclusively.

The four reasons to leave your home:

  • shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
  • one form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household;
  • any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
  • travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.

Thanet coronavirus: Useful numbers, groups and shop deliveries list


  1. Shame people of Thanet don’t listen
    Give them fines or arrest them if they don’t listen. I went shopping today for 1st time in 10 days and there were more people out like it was normal well it isn’t and the trip shopping took 3 hrs due to people going out for un essential items like swimming pool.

  2. As someone who lives near ramsgate seafront I have never seen so many cyclist, walkers, joggers, going passed, in the last few days. It didn’t look like a lockdown to me. Busier than a summer bank holiday. Heard one family talking about, when by the granville theater, saying ride to pegwell bay than on the way back through the park etc back to st Peter’s. Now as someone who rides a bike seriously i couldnt do that in 30 minutes which is the government guidelines of 30 minutes of exercise per day. Lots of people are ignoring this and putting the NHS and us at unnecessary risk.

  3. The government hasn’t mandated how long you can exercise. The government website says that we can go out once a day for exercise:
    “. When am I allowed to leave the house?

    You should only leave the house for very limited purposes:

    shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
    one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
    any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
    travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home”
    It doesn’t say how long you should be out, but common sense (which seems to be in short supply) says you should be out for as little as possible.

  4. Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said on Sunday 29 March, ‘I would have thought for most people a walk of up to an hour, a run of 30 minutes or a cycle ride of between that, depending on their level of fitness, is appropriate.’

    I guess it’s just a guideline so nothing stopping me from going on a 5 hrs bike ride than. So apart from not going to the pub this lockdown has no impact on my life.

    Just for the record I wont be going on a 5 hrs bike ride , just pointing out there is nothing to stop me or you if you want to. To me 30 minute bike ride isnt worth going ! It’s only a 10 mile ride

  5. ” I guess it’s just a guideline ”
    Yes. That’s right.
    You’ll notice that I went on to say:
    “It doesn’t say how long you should be out, but common sense (which seems to be in short supply) says you should be out for as little as possible.”
    I would commend to you the bit about “common sense”.

  6. It’s incredible to think that we have an obesity problem in the UK given the sheer number of people currently out getting their daily exercise. Never seen so many cyclists or dog walkers especially. Are we heading for a France type exercise restriction where it is banned between 10-7? That would empty the public areas pretty quickly.

  7. People still aren’t listening or selfish and don’t care…..
    Mother & child on holiday from London (come down Sunday) been at beach this morning , makes my blood boil .
    I’ve been isolating for 4 weeks ‘Extremely Vulnerable'(new kidney).One person from my household goes out to work shopping & dogs. The longer they don’t listen , the longer these rules won’t be lifted. More and
    stronger punishments.

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