The Government has insisted it does not want to lift lockdown measures too early as the country is still experiencing a “dangerous moment” in the coronavirus pandemic.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab pointed to a reported increase in Covid-19 cases in Germany when discussing social distancing measures at the daily Downing Street press conference.
Mr Raab said a similar uptick in the UK “is a very real risk and it is vital we proceed carefully”.
He added: “We mustn’t gamble away the sacrifices and the progress that we have made – we must continue to follow the scientific evidence and we must continue to take the right decisions at the right moment in time.”
The First Secretary of State said he “did not know” whether the five tests for lifting lockdown had been met and said the country was at a “delicate and dangerous moment in this challenge”.
He explained that the UK was still “coming through the peak” of the virus and said people need to maintain the current measures “until we are out of the woods”.
Deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam also urged caution on the reopening of schools and said ministers would have to be “very careful indeed”.
He said it was “premature” to be discussing heading back to the classroom, but did say the idea was “in the mix” in talks over easing the restrictions.
He also doubted it was possible for young children to keep two metres away from one another in a classroom environment.
Professor Van-Tam’s comments come hours after Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said schools would reopen in a “phased manner”, but that the Government did not have a fixed date in mind for this.