- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The United Kingdom, one of the European nations hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, said Tuesday that it isn’t ready to begin easing restrictions related to the outbreak.

A spokesperson for Prime Minister Boris Johnson told reporters that the existing lockdown restrictions will stay in place “for now.”

“We need to pass five tests before we can think about moving on to the next phase in the coronavirus response. We are not there yet,” the spokesperson said.

The U.K. has extended its lockdown restrictions until at least May 7, when the government will again weigh lifting some social distancing measures in an effort to reopen the economy while preventing a resurgence of the highly contagious virus.

“What we need to be focused on is everybody following the social distancing rules and ensuring that we have got the spread of this virus fully under control,” the spokesperson said.

As of Tuesday morning, Britain has reported 158,353 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, 21,092 deaths and 809 recoveries, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

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