A six-week-old baby has become the youngest victim of coronavirus in England as the official death toll across hospitals and the wider community linked to COVID-19 hit 31,241 in the UK. The baby's death on Friday comes as Britain prepares for some easing in the strict lockdown measures in place to curb the spread of the deadly virus as it is believed that Britain is past the peak of the pandemic.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to make a televised address on Sunday, during which he will lay out a comprehensive plan to start unlocking the economy. However, Cabinet ministers have been warning against raising expectations beyond a modest easing of the social distancing rules in place to manage the pressure on the state-funded National Health Service (NHS).
There are some concerns that people would start flouting the stay-at-home message during a long Bank Holiday weekend to mark the 75th anniversary of the World War II Victory in Europe (VE) Day on Friday. I'm conscious that there is a great deal of speculation about what the Prime Minister might say on Sunday when he outlines a roadmap for the future and how we will evolve the current restrictions, said UK Environment Secretary George Eustice in reference to the speech.
"But in the meantime, in spite of the sunny Bank Holiday, it is vitally important that we continue to abide by the current restrictions. Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives, he said. Meanwhile, the devolved administrations of Scotland and Wales have plans to effectively keep lockdown largely in place with some "very smallest and most modest steps" towards an easing.
From Monday, people in both regions will be allowed to go out to exercise locally more than once a day. "The only change that we're considering in the immediate term is the guidance on outdoor exercise and I will give you a further update on that over the weekend," said Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
"The evidence that we heard from behavioural scientists in making our decisions was that if you can offer people a little bit more freedom at the margin it actually strengthens people's ability and willingness to abide with the major thrust of the restrictions that we still have to ask people in Wales to abide by, added Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford.
The British government has said that while it is keen on a UK-wide approach to the lockdown, every region will set timeframes based on their individual assessments.