The Prime Minister, who is in quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus, led the weekly discussion from his personal office in his flat at Number 11 Downing Street while all his ministers appeared on a single digital screen over computer links from their homes. The Prime Minister was said to be suffering mild coronavirus symptoms and is expected to end his seven-day isolation period on Friday.
Only Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill and a small number of officials were in the Cabinet room itself, observing social distancing rules on keeping two metres apart, during the meeting.
During the meeting, the Prime Minister warned that the coronavirus outbreak “is going to get worse before it gets better, but it will get better.”
He said the rising death toll in recent days showed the vital importance of the public continuing to stick to the Government’s social distancing guidance.
He urged his team to continue to emphasise the key message to “Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives.”
Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance and the Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty updated ministers on the latest data about the epidemic.
The Cabinet discussed the NHS effort to expand testing and the Government’s measures to safeguard jobs and bring home UK citizens stranded overseas by the crisis.
Ministers expressed thanks to NHS and other key workers for “their tremendous hard work”.
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