Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Science & Tech
  2. Coronavirus
14 April 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Government and policy update, 14 April

By Samuel Horti

The UK could be in lockdown for at least another month, the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said yesterday. Vallance said he expected the number of coronavirus-related deaths to continue rising this week, before reaching a plateau that could last up to three weeks. Only when the UK was “on the other side” of that peak would it be safe to relax restrictions, he said. His comments were backed by the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputising for Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Scientific leaders will meet later today to discuss the impact of the coronavirus lockdown, and the government is set to extend lockdown measures on Thursday. 

Johnson continues to recover at Chequers after leaving hospital on Sunday. Hours after he left St Thomas’ hospital in south London, he paid tribute to the NHS staff that had cared for him, adding that they had “saved my life, no question”. Johnson and his medical team have not set any timetable for his recovery, and a spokesman said yesterday that the prime minister was “not carrying out any government work”.

The UK government is reviewing its advice on wearing face masks after a senior British scientist at the World Health Organisation suggested the protection would soon be universal.  

Global updates: 

France: President Emmanuel Macron said coronavirus restrictions would lift on 11 May as long as the number of cases continued to drop and citizens were “civic, responsible and respected the rules”. 

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Spain: Some workers previously deemed “non-essential”, including construction workers, returned to work as the daily coronavirus death toll continued to fall. 

Content from our partners
How do we secure the hybrid office?
How materials innovation can help achieve net zero and level-up the UK
Fantastic mental well-being strategies and where to find them

India: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended the nationwide coronavirus lockdown until 3 May. The announcement came on what was to be the final day of the initial lockdown period. 

US: Deaths and hospitalisations continued to fall in New York, with governor Andrew Cuomo declaring “the worst is over”. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump claimed “total authority” over the country’s pandemic response. 

Russia: President Vladimir Putin said that the military could be deployed to help tackle the coronavirus outbreak. The country reported its highly daily infection figures yet on Monday, and Putin said the situation was “changing practically every day, and unfortunately not for the better”. 

Read more on the New Statesman:

Stephen Bush on why Keir Starmer’s response to Labour’s leaked anti-Semitism report is the right one 

Maurice Glasman on how coronavirus has sounded the death knell for liberal globalisation 

New Statesman’s creative editor Gerry Brakus selects a series of images from photographers capturing the coronavirus response around the globe 

Lawrence Freedman on coronavirus and the language of war