Coronavirus: Government admits impossible to predict when lockdown will end

Rob Merrick

Michael Gove has admitted the coronavirus lockdown is likely to last longer than three weeks, saying: “I wish I could predict when this will end.”

Amid suggestions that the restrictions will have to remain in place until June – much longer than the three weeks announced – the cabinet office minister signalled a likely extension.

“I can’t make an accurate prediction,” he said, urging “everyone” to keep “making a sacrifice”.

Mr Gove also refused to back scientists who have suggested the peak of the outbreak will now be in mid-April, rather than late May or early June as originally expected.

“The date of the peak depends on all of our behaviour – it’s not a fixed date in the calendar like Easter,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme.

And he defended the government’s record on testing for the virus, as the daily total hit the target of 10,000 – still a fraction of the 500,000 tested each week in Germany.

NHS workers would soon be tested at 'drive in centres' run by the likes of high street chain Boots, Mr Gove revealed.

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