Matt Hancock said today that he & # 39; s comfortable & # 39; was reopening with businesses and getting Britons back to work, showing figures that traffic on & # 39; s roads e UK for the first time since the launch began.
The health secretary welcomed the decision of building companies, stores and factories to start their businesses all over again – but insisted those who did not re-open their doors never needed to close.
Hancock said social distance must be maintained at construction sites and in production plants and the retail sector, because & # 39; AA statistics show that there have been more car trips than in & # 39; the past few weeks.
In a further sign, the economy is slowly restarting after & # 39; the UK introduced coronavirus restrictions for the first time in March & # 39; at the end of March, photos & # 39; The A40 at Hangar Lane at peak hours showed that it was busier than in the past weeks, with similar scenes on & # 39; e M3 and M4 and Severn Bridge.
The AA data, which saw car use by 15,000 motorists with a tracker in their car, showed an average of 0.4 trips per car on weekdays at the beginning of this month. Average car travel increased to 0.46 earlier this week and reached 0.47 on Wednesday, the highest total since mid-March.
The rise in traffic usage also correlates with AA burglary statistics, with previous weeks seeing 6,000 burglaries a day – while that number hit 8,000 this week.
The data emerged when Britain remained locked-in rules by unpacking beaches and parks in the UK, to hit temperatures 68F in another sign that the country is apparently no longer prepared to follow to & # 39; instructions e government to stay inside.
Hancock told Sky News: & # 39; The things that don't start again are things that we & # 39; In the first place, you never have to close, but what the companies did is work out how they can safely follow the social distance rules while people are at work.
Traffic is seen on & # 39; A40 through Hanger Lane in West London in & # 39; the rush hour of & # 39; tomorrow. As the country enters, it is the second month of government shutdowns imposed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, there is a constant increase in the number of people who use the roads and return to work
The A40 at Hangar Lane in west London this morning. According to the AA, traffic is up 10% compared to earlier this month
Increase in traffic: The left image was taken at Good Friday 2020 – which is traditionally one of & # 39; s busiest days of the year, but was abandoned in the middle of & # 39; e crisis this year. The photo on the right, taken today, shows traffic on the A12 at Colchester, Essex
Figures from & # 39; AA show show more car journeys than at any point in & # 39; for the past few weeks in a sign that the economy is slowly restarting after the UK introduced its first coronavirus restriction for the first time in March
Traffic camera & # 39; s on M4 songs of & # 39; tomorrow see a clear increase in traffic levels in a further sign that Britain is back to work
More cars could also be seen today on M3 compared to the start of lockdown restrictions
More cars stood on Severn Bridge today to increase the number of cars taken to Britain's roads
& # 39; In & # 39; For some time now, we have allowed hardware stores to remain open, and the construction industry, but what companies have done has taken the last few weeks to work out & # 39; & # 39; ok, how do you stay open and stay within the social-distance rules at work? & # 39; & # 39;
& # 39; That it is absolutely fine for those companies to stay open, & # 39; they were never required to close by the social-distance rules. & # 39;
Figures from the Google Mobility Report also showed that people are stepping up, and visitor numbers to public spaces and shopping malls are up 10 percent.
Today, home builder Persimmon announced it is starting operations again, after Taylor Wimpey and rival Vistry Group said it will start again next week, while luxury car maker Aston Martin Lagonda also has plans to restart operations.
The A14 in Cambridge this afternoon, to & # 39; more people taking car trips since the lockdown began. It comes as some stores, including B&Q, began to reopen, such as construction sites and factories
The photo of the empty A12 at Colchester in Essex was taken on Good Friday. The image taken today shows that many more cars have been taken down the road
The retail sector received a boost yesterday when B&Q opened 155 stores across the country for customers to browse the store, leaving large queues outside. Some of & # 39; favorite stores for Britain also have an increase in & # 39; seen the demand for re-opening a small number of branches for delivery or takeaways
Crowds gathered outside a Five Guys restaurant at the Fountain Park in Edinburgh waiting for delivery orders and yesterday evening police were seen at a large queue outside a MEATliquor burger bar in south east London.
Pret-a-Manger has also reopened ten stores. Six Nando's also reopened – but only for frontline health workers. The restaurants will provide up to 1,700 free meals per day to NHS staff.
AA President Edmund King said: & # 39; Most drivers still follow & # 39; e government to make only essential trips by car, however, we have seen traffic and burglaries this week reduced.
& # 39; It's a concern that some drivers seem to be bored that they are locked up at home and are now in their cars. Burglaries have increased by about 20% this week and traffic seems to be 10% higher than under previous lockdown conditions.
The M62 was much busier today than it has been in recent weeks, because it appeared that the country was starting to edge
Customers stand in Leeds queue outside Home Bargains today as stores in the & # 39; UK begin to open in the middle of & # 39; a lockdown
People who are currently queuing outside of Home Events in Leeds
Skateboarders in Leeds violate lockdown rules. Some parks and beaches were busy today, because the British enjoyed the warm weather
Last night, police were spotted attending a large queue outside a MEATliquor burger bar in the latest scene from a country that is apparently no longer prepared to follow instructions from & # 39; e government to stay inside
People continue to exclude exclusionary rules today when they went to Hyde Park. This woman read a book in the sun
People stand in queues outside a B&Q in Warrington, Cheshire, today after the DIY chain announces it has reopened its stores
Long queues of shoppers outside B&Q in Sutton Ashfield, Nottinghamshire as Britons seem to return to normalcy
Shoppers are in Northampton this afternoon in a recently reopened B&Q
& # 39; It is important to cut out non-essential journeys, as one accident can bind the emergency services for hours and can also result in a costly NHS hospital bed.
& # 39; The message is yet to stay home and help save lives. We also encourage drivers to maintain speed limits, in order to prevent a minority of drivers from treating the roads as race lanes.
Google & # 39; s Mobility Report showed that between February 16 and March 29, visits to shopping and recreation locations, such as restaurants, malls, and galleries, dropped by 85 percent.
But by the end of last week, this was up 10 per cent to 75 per cent below its normal level. Park and beach visits have increased by 19 percentage points to 33 percent below normal rates.
Britons today ignored the dismissal rules by flocking to parks, beaches and promenades to bask despite the possibility of strong fines for violating the & # 39; s rules.
Sunbathers enjoy the warm weather today at Potters Fields Park, next to Tower Bridge in London
Queue outside B&Q in Darnley outside Glasgow today. Buyers have visited their stores after notifying the company that they would reopen
More customers today queued outside this B&Q affiliate in Hartcliffe, Bristol
People enjoy the warm weather and sunshine at Potters Fields Park, next to Tower Bridge in London
In Roath Park in Cardiff, Covidiots set up their own outdoor gym, bringing kettle bells, resistance bands and even taking off safety bands from parking for group training – against safety advice.
Passer-by Diane Howard said, & # 39; It's just ridiculous. They are in a large group and use the equipment, even though the carpet. I even saw boys running along with resistance bands – and even wrestling on the grass. & # 39;
Police chief proposes exercise rules as hundreds of flight guidance to enjoy 68F temperatures
Devon Chief Constable and Cornwall Police Shawn Sawyervhas hit the Council of National Police Chief over their advice on exercise rules.
It has published that it is reasonable to & # 39; drive and run in the countryside (where & # 39; there is much more time spent than driving) & # 39 ;.
But he said, & # 39; The guidance of & # 39; The National Police Chiefs & # 39; which I think is some of & # 39; the worst guidance I have seen in a long time sadly would be able to access people from outside the power, the thing our communities don't want to do. & # 39;
But around the sun the last few days shone, hundreds of people ignored it to stay home – and the risk of £ 60 fines.
Hundreds of people were seen on Preston beach near Paignton, Devon, playing in the sand and sunny.
One member of the public said, "There are close families here with young children who are digging in the sand." They act more than a day out than mandated exercise.
Â & # x20AC; & # x153; There are well over 100 people on the beach. Some walk, some sit around or play in the & # 39; e sea. & # 39;
Coastguards have also criticized the people who travel to beaches and surfers.
Coast Guard Paddy Cochrane, based in Falmouth, said in & # 39; last 24-48 hours that there was a & # 39; large number of water users & # 39; had been to & # 39; e north and south coasts.
Photos also show a packed on the coast in Hove, East Sussex.
The snap, taken yesterday, showed people sitting on benches enjoying ice cream and group gatherings as temperatures rose to 23C.
Eyewitness Ben Maughan, 34, said: & # 39; It was just absolutely packed. I usually go for my evening tour, but it just wasn't safe.
& # 39; The police just did nothing and that was the shocking thing.
& # 39; Mostly, they told people they were sitting on a bench to walk through or turn off BBQ's. Just actual policing.
& # 39; But they were just guessing at what looked like a normal Thursday.
& # 39; Even the ice cream shop had reopened. It was as if lockdown had been lifted. & # 39;
Mr Hancock reiterated today that the UK could not yet suffer the restrictions.
He said, & # 39; The truth is, it is still too soon, for sure, to change these measures. Although the number of people who died yesterday was lower, it was still over 600, so it's still too high.
& # 39; I just encourage people to abide by those rules, because & # 39; it works and we fly that curve flat, but we have to see it come down & # 39;
Builders returned to construction sites and roads are visibly busier than a week ago.
Homebuilder Taylor Wimpey said construction would resume on May 4 and rival Vistry Group said it will resume next week.
Today, home builder Persimmon followed their lead, saying it is about to begin with a & # 39; phase reboot & # 39; from its pages of Monday, April 27, to help complete new homes under construction.
Persimmon closed its construction sites, sales offices and moved non-staff to work from home on March 25.
David Jenkinson, chief officer of Persimmon, said: & # 39; The government of & # 39; The UK has been very clear about the importance of the construction industry to the UK economy and its desire to continue activity through the current period of crisis, provided appropriate public health measures are adopted.
& # 39; Nothing is more important to us than the health, safety, and well-being of the public, our colleagues, subcontractors, and suppliers.
Photos also show a packed on the coast in Hove, East Sussex. The snap, taken yesterday, showed people sitting on benches enjoying ice cream and group gatherings as temperatures rose to 23C
At Roath Park in Cardiff, Covidiots set up their own outdoor gym, bringing kettle bells, resistance bands and even taking off safety bands from parking for group training – against safety advice
One man can be seen lifting chain bells today and at Roath Park in Cardiff. Passer-by Diane Howard said, & # 39; It's just ridiculous. They are in a large group and use the equipment even though it is taped & # 39;
Two women relax in Hyde Park in central London as temperatures rise today to 68F. The scenes suggest that the country is apparently no longer prepared to follow government instructions to stay inside
A man is sunny in Hyde Park from noon. Matt Hancock has welcomed the return to work and said companies that don't reopen will need to close
Two women were sitting in the sun in Hyde Park today when men continued to whisper the restriction of coronavirus lockdown
& # 39; After spending the last month developing and testing new site protocols that do not include the necessary social distance and protection measures, we believe we are now safely back to the site and the economic recovery of & # 39; support the UK of & # 39; pandemic. & # 39;
What companies have announced they are reopening?
Taylor Wimpey: Plans to restore work to its construction sites from May 4
Vistry Group: Will resume working on 90 percent of partnership sites and a & # 39; significant number & # 39; houses
Persimmon: Housebuilder is undergoing a & # 39; phase reset & # 39; to start from their pages
Aston Martin Lagonda: Will re-open its factory in South Wales on May 5, but main factory in Warwickshire will remain closed for the first time
B&Q: Opens 155 stores across the UK with & # 39; strict social distance measures in place & # 39;
Nando's: Seven of its city center kitchens reopens to provide food for NHS workers and local charities
Jaguar Land Rover: From May 18, manufacturing will resume in Solihull and at its Wolverhampton engine plant
Luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin Lagonda is also set to reopen its plant in South Wales on May 5 – and car giant Jaguar Land Rover will gradually resume production at two of its UK plants next month robust & # 39; guidelines to support a return to work.
Guernsey is set to be the first place in Britain to partially lift lockdown as gardeners, landlords and builders work back.
It comes amid a string of motor vehicles during lockdown, and incidents of guidelines that violated Covidiots.
A driver had seized a car after trying to take three children out for a day on a 150-mile ride to Brighton, in order to "get them bored".
Officers stopped the car at Clacket Lane Services after the man was seen driving when he was using his mobile phone on the M25 westbound.
The man, in his & # 39; 30s & # 39; t Romford area of Essex, told officials he & # 39; was bored to be in and wanted some fresh air &, so decided to take a day trip to Brighton, East Sussex.
Two covidiots made a 450-mile roundabout to climb Mount Snowdown – only to be turned back by police. The driver and passenger were reported in Llanberis for breaking Covid-19 lockdown rules – advising people to stay home and avoid all non-essential trips.
A motorist has been caught racing at more than 150 mph by spying in the air police on an abandoned dual carriageway.
The car – a £ 330,000 BMW 330 – was taken prisoner by a police helicopter camera on the M11 in Essex before crossing the border to Suffolk that still traveled with more than twice the speed limit.
The driver of the & # 39; BMW330 – thought to be a turbocharged version that & # 39; s developing 250bhp and with a time of 0-62 mph in under six seconds – was eventually stopped at Newmarket when it & # 39; went slower.
Police said the driver has been reported for dangerous driving and excessive speeding and will have to appear before a court. A spokesman said, & # 39; The world may have changed, but the speed limit and traffic laws remain the same, & # 39 ;.
An increase in speed violations during lockdown has seen 20 times more cars traveling more than 100 km / h compared to last year, says a & # 39; disappointed & # 39; police force.
Norfolk police have been forced to take robust action to remove 1.85 percent of cars that are faded on roads in the UK. The province has traveled more than 100 km / h – up from just 0.09 per cent at this time last year.
Speed data recordings set at different locations in the province have a & # 39; marked increase & # 39; shown in cars & # 39; that do not exceed the speed limit.
Police say they have captured only two cars in Norfolk last week traveling across the major A47 trunk at speeds of 101 and 103 mph.
Elsewhere, on the A11, it was found that a light good car was limited to 60 mph at 102 mph.
And finally, in a 60mph zone in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, a car was found traveling at 94 mph.
Officers continue to use many of the major road networks in Norfolk Speed Patrol to focus on drivers who not only pose a threat to themselves, but to other road users.
It comes about & # 39; the government is said to consider starting workers' hours around the bottleneck of & # 39; hours of & # 39; an hour before the majority of British return to the office – possibly at some point next month.
The possible strategy to get London back in pursuit follows Mayor Sadiq Khan's warning Transport for London has about a week's worth of money to run itself, and militant RMT union chiefs say there is no chance is & # 39; of its members to get back on buses and trains without Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Tory MPs have warned the government that it needs to explain in detail how it aims to increase the lockdown to give businesses hope of survival, with senior backbenchers at the & # 39; e 1922 Commission to discuss the answer.
They said it & # 39; foolish & # 39; is for ministers not to be completely frank with the public, given how well most of the population has adhered to social distance measures and emphasized & # 39; there needs to be an economy to go back & # 39; in order to sound a warning that is heard loud and clear in Downing Street.
A number of construction sites have begun to reopen with the number of passengers using the Tube in London likely to increase. Image: Canning Town station this week
In a sign, however, tensions are likely to escalate, Dominic Raab said it will take weeks before ministers even & # 39; think about & # 39; put forward an exit strategy, while Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty said some restrictions are likely to be in place for the & # 39; next & # 39; calendar year & # 39 ;.
Expert warns that government should be ready with clear guidance on whether people can visit family and friends if lockdown ends
Clear guidance on whether people can safely visit family and friends should be ready as soon as all the relief of coronavirus lockout regulations are announced, a public health expert has warned.
Undetermined protection for vulnerable groups like the 70s would be & # 39; incredibly unpalatable and detrimental to families & # 39 ;, said Professor Linda Bauld
The chief medical officer of England's Chris Whitty has said that the UK should probably live with some form of disruptive social measures for the rest of the year.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon echoed his remarks, adding that & # 39; a return to normal, as we knew it in & # 39; the future is not on & # 39; maps. & # 39;
Prof Bauld, professor of public health at & # 39; the University of Edinburgh, said international travel is probably & # 39; strongly discouraged & # 39; to & # 39; e fall, but said clear guidance is needed on whether safe travel within the UK will be possible.
She told the PA agency: & # 39; So people can drive to actually physically see their siblings, in & # 39; in the summer months, when & # 39; the weather for not everything but most of & # 39; the UK should be reasonable and that contact in & # 39; can it be outside?
& # 39; That's the kind of discussion that government should have with the population so we can re-establish some of that contact. & # 39;
She said it was also & # 39; essential & # 39; is that consideration is given to internal UK travel where flights are required as ferries for visits between Britain and Northern Ireland, such as the islands outside Scotland.
The government will have to try to balance efforts to protect public health with human rights to have social contact, including see family, added Prof Bauld.
Schools could begin to retreat in less than three weeks under a & # 39; traffic light & # 39; plan capped by senior ministers to reduce misery – split amid cabinet debate over whether government should risk more deaths from illness to save the plummeting economy.
Builders failed to properly distribute socially on one site in London yesterday, where there were about 50 temperature controls before they were allowed into No .. 1 Palace Street, where 72 luxury apartments are being built at Buckingham Palace.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered the unusual lockdown on March 23 to deal with the pandemic, in order to & # 39; people were instructed & # 39; to stay home & # 39; On April 16, this was extended for at least another three weeks to May 7.
On BBC Radio 4 & # 39; s Today program, Mr Hancock lost his cool when he was grilled about the failure of the UK government to reduce its & # 39; set up a coronavirus lockon.
Calls to Downing Street to be honest with the nation have increased after Nicola Sturgeon just launched her own plan for Scotland, while Wales is doing the same today and Northern Ireland has signaled it could follow.
Mr Hancock and other higher ministers have so far refused to budge on the issue, insisting the focus should remain on delaying the & # 39; s dissemination of & # 39; a disease.
But fierce Tory MPs have bribed the government & # 39; the bullet & # 39; en har strategy ynsteld om bedriuwen hope te jaan dat maatregels al gau opheve koene.
Prof Bauld, heechlearaar folkssûnens oan 'e Universiteit fan Edinburch sei dat dúdlike begelieding oer oft minsken feilich famylje en freonen kinne besykje moatte klear wêze sa gau as alle fergunning oan' e regels foar beskoatteljen fan coronavirus wurdt oankundige.
Unbepaalde beskerming fan kwetsbere groepen lykas de jierren 70 soe 'ongelooflijk unpalatabel en skealik wêze foar gesinnen', sei se.
Prof Bauld tafoege: 'Soene minsken kinne ride om har sibben feitlik fysyk te sjen, yn' e simmermoannen, doe't it waar foar net alles, mar it measte fan 'e UK ridlik wêze moat en dat kontakt yn' t bûthús kin wêze?
'Dat is de soarte diskusje dy't regearing mei de befolking moat hawwe, sadat wy wat fan dat kontakt opnij kinne ynstelle.'
De sûnenssekretaris waard dizze moarn frege tidens in bruisend ynterview op it programma fan it Radio Radio 4 fan BBC Radio wêrom't de UK-regearing wegeret om te staverjen hoe't it beheiningen sil ferminderje.
Mar hy bewearden dat ministers 'in ramt' hienen frijlitten, om't hy ferwiisde nei de fiif testen fan 'e regearing dy't moatte wurde foldien foardat lockdown kin wurde fermindere. Dy testen omfetsje in garânsje dat der gjin twadde peak fan 'e útbraak sil wêze.
De helte fan 'e minsken tsjûget fan tanimming yn sjauffeurs dy't de snelheidsgrins brekke tidens de lockon fan it coronavirus
Hast de helte fan 'e minsken hawwe tsjûge fan in tanimming fan sjauffeurs dy't de snelheidsgrins brekke tidens de lockon fan' e coronavirus, docht oan in nije enkête.
Guon 44% fan 'e respondinten op in RAC-enkête seine dat se no mear automobilisten hawwe sjoen snel riden dan se diene foar 23 maart doe't de regearing it ferbod ynfierde op net-essensjele reizen.
Wegen mei limyt fan 30 mph lykje it meast misbrûkt te wêzen, mei 23% fan 'e 2.020 minsken dy't fregen, sizzende dat se sjauffeurs dúdlik te hurd hawwe sjoen.
Ôfdieling foar sifers fan ferfier litte sjen dat dykferkear sawat twa tredde leger is as normaal fanwege de opslach.
Plysjekorpsen hawwe warskôge dat guon sjauffeurs lege diken brûke as in racetrack.
De Metropolitan Police klokte koartlyn ien bestjoerder dy't 134 mph yn in 40 mph sône die, wylst Greater Manchester Police in sjauffeur opnomde dy't 129 mph die op 'e M62.
Wurdfierder fan RAC ferkearsfeiligens Simon Williams sei: 'It soe mar in fraksje fan in sekonde duorje as jo goed oer de snelheidsgrins ride, foar wat skriklik om te barren.
'Koppelje dit gedrach oan mei it feit dat der in soad fytsers op ús diken binne en mear minsken moatte yn' e wei rinne om in feilige ôfstân fan oaren op stoepjes te hâlden, en jo hawwe in resept foar ramp.
'It lêste ding dat de NHS nedich hat, om't it nacht en dei wurket om pasjinten mei coronavirus te helpen, is te krijen mei minsken ferwûne by foarkommen botsingen yn ferkearswegen feroarsake troch automobilisten dy't fiersten te hurd riden.'
Mar presintator Mishal Husain ûnderbruts en fertelde de sûnenssekretaris: 'Jo wite dat dat oars is. Wy witte oer jo fiif testen. & # 39;
In lilke hear Hancock sloech doe werom en sei: 'It is net oars. It is net oars, om't as jo it Skotske dokumint lêze, it yn essinsje in werhelling is fan dy fiif testen. & # 39;
Mr. Hancock hie syn koel earder yn 'e krisis op 16 april ferlern oer itselde ûnderwerp fan lockdown doe't hy oanstie dat it publyk net koe wurde fertroud mei in útgongstrategy, om't se miskien ophâlde te folgjen fan lockdown-regels.
Senior konservative figueren leauwe dat d'r op it stuit 'gjin lieding' is sûnder Boris Johnson dy't wurdt leaud te rjochtsjen op in weromkear nei it wurk op moandei nije wike.
De minister-presidint waard op 12 april frijlitten út it sikehûs nei oanlieding fan syn slach mei intensive care mei coronavirus en hy is sûnt doe wer hersteld by Checkers.
Alliearden leauwe dat de premier 'bepaald' is om nei it wykein werom te kommen en dy teoryen waarden dizze moarn ympulsearre, om't de hear Hancock sei dat de minister-presidint op 'heul goede foarm is en dúdlik herstelt'.
Underwilens sei Donald Trump justerjûn dat de hear Johnson tiisdei 'skerp en enerzjyk wie' yn in tillefoantsje.
Mr Hancock said this morning the easing of restrictions would largely be determined by how quickly new cases of coronavirus fall.
He said: 'It depends on how fast the number of new cases falls now that we are at the peak… and if as and when they do then the speed with which the number of new cases reduces frankly will determine how long we need to keep the measures on. That is as yet unknowable.'
He said he did not have a 'problem in principle' with Ms Sturgeon setting out her own plan but he added 'it is too soon to make the changes' as he also made the case for the UK to continue to act 'as one'.
'My preference is that we work together as one country,' he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
'I think that is where the public has been during this but I also respect the responsibilities that my devolved colleagues have got.'
The issue of when the UK's lockdown can be lifted is now largely dominating the coronavirus crisis with the government facing increasing political pressure to set out its plans.
Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith told The Guardian: 'The UK government now needs to recognise that the time is now. They need to bite the bullet and do it.'
He told The Times: 'The government needs now to explain to the British public that they are planning for the time when we come out of lockdown.
'We must trust the British public to understand how this will happen. The Scottish administration is right. I want the UK government to be doing the same.'
Former Brexit secretary David Davis said it would be 'entirely sensible' for the government to set out 'what can and can't be done'.
Ms Sturgeon yesterday published her own blueprint for how to lift restrictions as she said businesses could reopen if they strictly adhere to social distancing measures.
She also said schools could return, potentially with redesigned classrooms so that pupils can stay at least two metres away from each other.
Meanwhile, Arlene Foster, the First Minister of Northern Ireland, said on Wednesday night the country could ease restrictions before the rest of the UK.
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