Government priority is to avoid second coronavirus peak, says No 10

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Avoiding a second spike of coronavirus infections is the government's top priority, the Prime Minister's spokesman has said.

The spokesman essentially confirmed a report in the Times that said Boris Johnson's "overriding concern" was to avoid a second peak of the virus. The spokesman said a surge in infections "ultimately will do the most damage to health and the most damage to the economy".

"If you move too quickly, then the virus could begin to spread exponentially again," he said. "The public will expect us to do everything we can to stop the spread of the virus and protect life."

The government last week extended the lockdown for another three weeks, and set out five tests that the UK will have to pass before restrictions are eased. The New Statesman's political editor Stephen Bush has written this morning about why those tests are so hard to meet.

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