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Dublin: 17 °C Sunday 31 May, 2020
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Boris Johnson appears to be recovering from Covid-19 after leaving intensive care

The UK is warning people not to flout pandemic restrictions over the Easter weekend.

Billboard van outside St Thomas' Hospital in Central London where Boris Johnson is being treated.
Billboard van outside St Thomas' Hospital in Central London where Boris Johnson is being treated.
Image: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images

UK PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson appears to be on the road to recovery after leaving intensive care – while ministers have urged people not to “ruin” the UK’s progress on coronavirus by flouting lockdown laws this Easter weekend.

Positive news on Johnson’s health emerged yesterday evening as Downing Street said that he had returned to the ward at St Thomas’ Hospital following three nights in intensive care.

He was said to be in “extremely good spirits” and is continuing to be closely monitored during the “early phase” of his recovery from Covid-19.

It came as the UK government launched a publicity drive to urge people to stay at home during the bank holiday weekend, when the weather is expected to remain warm and sunny.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who has been deputising for Johnson, earlier warned that it was still too soon for ministers to begin lifting the strict social distancing rules introduced last month.

“After all the sacrifices so many people have made, let’s not ruin it now,” he said at the daily Downing Street press conference.

“We mustn’t give the coronavirus a second chance to kill more people and hurt our country.”

Meanwhile, police warned they were ready to take action against those who flout the coronavirus lockdown rules.

Downing Street offered the government’s “full backing” to police forces seeking to enforce the restrictions over the holiday period.

But there was a rebuke for Northamptonshire Chief Constable Nick Adderley after he suggested his force could mount road blocks and search shopping trolleys to check if people were going out to buy non-essential items.

Home Secretary Priti Patel told talkRADIO: “That is not appropriate, let me be clear on that. That is not the guidance.”

The warning came as the latest official figures showed the number of hospital patients in the UK who had died after testing positive for Covid-19 had risen to 7,978 as of 5pm on Wednesday – an increase of 881 on the previous day.

Churches

One British MP has questioned why churches will be forced to keep their doors closed on Easter Sunday while off-licences will be allowed to open.

Jack Lopresti, the Conservative representative for Filton and Bradley Stoke, wrote to the government to ask them to reconsider allowing to open “for private prayer”.

However, his open letter to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has led to criticism, and one bishop said “God always does a door-to-door service”. 

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