Public warned not to be tempted outside by warm weather

Britons have been warned that the coronavirus pandemic will claim more lives over the coming weeks if people give into temptation and head out to enjoy the sunshine this weekend.

Clear skies and temperatures of upwards of 18C (64.4F) have been forecast for Sunday, which could make it all the more difficult for some to adhere to lockdown measures enforced to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Speaking at the government’s daily coronavirus news briefing, Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned: “We cannot relax our discipline now – if we do, we will lose lives.”

He added: “We’re set for a warm weekend in some parts of the country but the disease is still spreading and we absolutely cannot afford to relax the social distancing measures that we have in place.”

Professor Van Tam also said people needed to keep adhering to social distancing, as he cast doubt on an earlier suggestion from the health secretary that the peak of the outbreak could arrive as early as Easter Sunday.

“We do not expect […] to turn the curve on this awful disease immediately and it will take time,” he said.

“The number of cases per day is still increasing and this remains a dangerous time.

“This is a serious battle and we need to keep fighting it.”

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