UK lockdown extended for at least three more weeks and another 861 daily hospital deaths

Empty A12 main route from London to East Anglia rush hour morning Friday 17th April 2020. Image: Tim Crook

Lockdown Britain continues for at least another three weeks and daily hospital death rate still high at 861. 

The Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab said at Downing Street’s daily coronavirus news briefing, Mr Raab

The government has decided that the current measures must remain in place for at least the next three weeks.

Mr Raab laid out five factors the government ‘must be satisfied of’ before considering changes to the lockdown:

  1. Confidence that the NHS can still provide sufficient critical care and specialist treatment across the UK
  2. The need to see a sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rate to be confident we are beyond the peak
  3. Reliable data from SAGE that the infection rate has decreased to manageable levels
  4. Testing capacity and PPE is in hand to meet supply for future demand
  5. Not risk a second peak of infection that overwhelms the NHS

News broadcasters continue to report from the frontline of critical care hospital wards with medics describing exhaustion and stress.

For the fourth week running Thursday night at 8 p.m. rang out to cheering and applause for courage and fortitude in treating the sick and dying.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has started a debate this morning by saying that wearing masks on London Transport should be made compulsory.


Romanian fruit-pickers flown in to UK for lockdown harvest

Some 150 Romanian field labourers have arrived at Stansted Airport to pick crops on British farms.

Farmers have voiced fears that without the workforce, crops may be left in the ground to rot and be wasted as the nation moves to feed itself during the coronavirus pandemic.

The recruitment from Romania and other Easter European Countries is continuing because they are skilled at harvesting crops.

There is also a tradition of returning to the same farms each year fo the seasonal work.

Police issue guidelines on ‘reasonable excuses’ for leaving home – including cooling off after rows

Police chiefs have clarified their policy on enforcing social distancing regulations.

They advise that people are allowed to move into a friend’s home should they need to escape their own following arguments.

Since the coronavirus restrictions were put in place in March there’s been controversy about what might be regarded as excessive interventions.

Police in many areas have spent time and effort on catching people out for an unnecessary drive, dispersing groups in parks or, in some extreme cases, monitoring certain supermarket aisles.

Petition for ‘Captain Tom’ to get a knighthood

A petition calling for Captain Tom Moore to be knighted has passed 400,000 signatures after the 99-year-old war veteran completed his garden walk raising more than £17 million for the NHS.

Prince William has called him ‘an absolute legend.’

With Captain Tom Moore, 99, walking his way to fame – and a fortune for NHS charities – another nonagenarian has embarked on a marathon challenge.

90 year old Margaret Payne aims to climb the equivalent of Highland mountain Suilven – 731m (2,398ft) – with 282 trips upstairs at her Sutherland home.

She began on Sunday.

She’s already hit her target of raising £10,000 for the NHS and a hospice on Thursday.

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