The UK has extended its strict social distancing measures until at least May 7, meaning theatres, cinemas and other public spaces will be shut for another three weeks.
The British government announced the lockdown extension on Thursday, as the COVID-19 death rate moved past 13,700 and widespread testing remains some way off.
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab, who is currently deputizing for prime minister Boris Johnson while he is recovering from coronavirus, said the UK still does not “have the infection rate down as far as we need to” and relaxing social distancing measures will “undo progress made to date.”
“We know it’s rough going at this time,” said Raab, reflecting on the social and economic damage being caused by coronavirus. “We must keep up this national effort for a while longer. We’ve just come too far, we’ve lost too many loved ones. We’ve already sacrificed far too much to ease up now, especially when we’re beginning to see the evidence that our efforts are starting to pay off.”
Health secretary Matt Hancock said earlier today that the pandemic is reaching a peak in the UK, but the government is yet to set out an exit strategy that will help life to return to normal.
It means weeks and months of continued uncertainty for the British entertainment industry, with the majority of TV and film shoots currently on hold, while production schedules for the rest of the year are in chaos.
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