Downing Street has assured tougher coronavirus lockdown measures won’t be enforced.
Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said on Thursday that the government’s focus remains on ensuring people abide by the measures that are “already in place”.
It follows a claim made earlier by culture secretary Oliver Dowden that the government will be “determining the appropriate stage at which to either enhance or change the measures that we are taking in order to deal with this public health emergency”.
Next week, the government is due to carry out its first review of the draconian lockdown measures introduced two-and-a-half weeks ago.
The spokesman also made a point of praising the public’s co-operation so far.
“The public response to this has been brilliant. People have made very big sacrifices in the way they live their lives.
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“You are beginning to see the impact that is having but people really do need to stick with it at what is a critical juncture.”
However, while promising the measures won’t be toughened, he also made clear individual police forces will be free to use “discretion” as to how they are enforced.
“The powers which we have given the police are there to save lives. The police have our full backing and they have the public’s backing too.
“They have set out in advice to officers that they should engage, explain and finally enforce.”
On Wednesday, former health secretary and current health and social care committee chair Jeremy Hunt suggested the lockdown will last for at least another month.