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Boris Johnson has urged British people not to move outdoor gatherings inside as the weather gets cooler and wetter this week.
The prime minister on Monday eased the coronavirus lockdown to allow groups of up to six people to meet outdoors.
But with the temperature falling significantly and parts of the country seeing rain on Wednesday, he pleaded with people not to move their gatherings indoors.
Johnson also appeared to guarantee all young people an apprenticeship as he warned there would be “many, many job losses” due to the pandemic.
But first he addressed the latest lockdown rules, telling the Downing Street daily briefing: “Some of you maybe tempted to move the gatherings you’ve been enjoying outdoors indoors out of the rain.
“I really urge you – don’t do that.
“We relaxed the rules on meeting outside for a very specific reason – because the evidence shows the risks of transmission are much lower outdoors.
“And the risks of passing on the virus are significantly higher indoors, which is why gatherings inside other people’s homes are still prohibited.
“Breaking these rules now could undermine and reverse all the progress that we’ve made together.”
Meanwhile, Johnson promised to be “interventionist” in the economic response to the pandemic.
There will be many, many job losses
The PM said young people “should be guaranteed an apprenticeship”, given how badly they have been hit by the lockdown despite facing a lower risk of death from Covid-19
Johnson said: “Tragically there will be many, many job losses and that is just inevitable because of the effect of this virus on the economy and because of the shutdown that has taken place.
“All I can say is that in dealing with that fallout from coronavirus we will be as activist and as interventionist as we have been throughout the lockdown.”
Meanwhile, the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has said there could be 8,000 new cases of coronavirus a day in the UK.
He told the briefing that while the latest figures showed more than 1,800 a day had tested positive, data from the Office for National Statistics suggested the true figure was significantly higher.
At the same time he said the R – the rate of transmission – was still close to 1 which meant the numbers were not coming down quickly.
“We have relatively large numbers still not coming down fast. That gives relatively little room for manoeuvre. We have to tread very cautiously,” he said.
He said the number of deaths was also coming down “but it is not coming down as fast as we would like it to come down”.
Vallance also warned there were examples internationally of new outbreaks of coronavirus since countries were moving towards easing their lockdowns.
“We’ve seen outbreaks reported in South Korea, there have been outbreaks reported in parts of Germany as measures have relaxed,” he said.
“So what has happened is the first peak has been suppressed and as the measures are released there is a danger that that comes back.
“There is also a risk that there is a second peak that comes as a wave goes across the world, so we are not out of this yet.
“It is good news that, as measures are being relaxed, people are generally seeing numbers continuing to go down – that is obviously what we would hope for here as the steps that are being taken cautiously, and we will be measuring to see numbers continuing to go down.”