First Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary - Dominic Raab - has been leading the Government's daily news conference from Downing Street. He has been updating the nation on the Government's continued response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The number of people who have died from Coronavirus in the UK passed 26,000 people today as death figures from care homes are included in the daily death count for the first time. My heart goes out to every single family affected by this tragic news.
Dominic Raab reiterated the Government's five principals that need to be met before a relaxation of lockdown will be considered.
People have made a lot of sacrifices so far during this process. We can't let all this hard work go to waste now.
The First Secretary confirmed that the Government and its advisers are looking at the second phase of our response and an exit strategy from lockdown. We will wait for SAGE's next review of the data at the beginning of May.
As always, the Government are ramping up our testing capability and securing new PPE contracts to ensure our NHS and social care system has the best possible protection from the virus. The Foreign Office are also still working with international partners and airlines to charter more repatriation flights for British nationals stuck abroad.
The First Secretary made an incredibly important point about the issue of a second spike / peak of the virus that must be avoided. A second peak is not a theoretical concept - it is a very real risk. We just have to look at what is happening in Germany as they release their lockdown measures. We mustn't gamble away the progress made so far.
We must all continue to stay at home and stay safe.