Calls for government to tighten - rather than relax - coronavirus lockdown rules

Mental Healthworker Glen Corbin, 59, died after contracting coronavirus. He had recently left retire

Mental Healthworker Glen Corbin, 59, died after contracting coronavirus. He had recently left retirement and returned to work for the NHS. Picture: PA - Credit: PA

There are calls for the government to tighten the lockdown rules - rather than relax them - as measures are expected to last until at least May.

A cross-party group of more than 50 MPs, including Conservative MPs, have called for the business secretary to ban all non-essential work immediately.

The politicians, led by Lib Dem MP Tim Farron, demand that all building work 'should be restricted to construction firms involved in supporting health, emergency services, essential post-Grenfell safety work and works essential to the public'.

They say that the government should 'end any uncertainty and mandate the closure of all non-essential construction sites', and support those builders that end up with no income.

Meanwhile at least five police chiefs are also calling for tougher restrictions ahead of the Easter weekend after traffic camera data showed that road use over the weekend in some areas was up by 10% compared to the previous week.

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Forces are expected to step up their patrolling around parks, beaches and tourist spots over the coming days.

One police chief told the Guardian: 'We need to say you can't drive. The burden needs to be on the individual not the state to prove reasonableness.

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'If the test changes, a lot less people would think: 'Rover does not need to be driven to a national park today.''

London mayor Sadiq Khan warned there could be a clampdown by the Met Police if people do not abide by the rules.

He said: 'The Met Police will be busy patrolling parks and open spaces across London this weekend – urging Londoners to do the right thing and follow the rules. I desperately want us to be able to keep our green spaces open for the millions of people that need them for essential walks and exercise – but that means everyone doing the right thing'.

Political leaders across Britain will help launch a Stay at Home This Easter campaign later to urge people to stay inside over the bank holiday weekend.

It comes as Wednesday saw a rise of 938 in the number of deaths in hospitals of patients who tested positive for Covid-19, the highest new total so far.

Despite a review into the lockdown imminent ministers expect it to continue into May.

One senior government source told The Sun: 'Nobody is going to argue about extending the lockdown into May.

'Look at where the peak is now expected.

'It's becoming obvious that's where we're heading.

'It would be seriously negligent not to do that.'

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