LONDON, April 18 (Xinhua) -- The British people should not book summer holidays because there is no end in sight to the lockdown that aims to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the British government has said.
Downing Street said it is "not able to say with certainty" at which point social distancing measures will ease as Britain continues to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
The statement came after British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputizing for recovering Prime Minister Boris Johnson, extended the lockdown by "at least three weeks".
"We need to be patient a while longer," Raab said at the daily coronavirus briefing on Thursday. "There is light at the end of the tunnel but we are now at both a delicate and a dangerous stage in this pandemic."
"If we rush to relax the measures that we have in place we would risk wasting all the sacrifices and all the progress that has been made," he added.
Meanwhile, British Transport Secretary Grant Schapps has said that he would be holding off on booking a summer holiday due to the ongoing crisis.
Asked at a briefing by reporters whether the public should follow suit, a Number 10 spokesman said on Friday, "While we are making progress in our fight against coronavirus, we are not able to say with certainty the point at which the social distancing measures can be relaxed."
As of Friday morning, 108,692 people have tested positive for COVID-19, marking a daily increase of 5,599, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.
Another 847 people who tested positive for COVID-19 have died in hospitals in Britain as of Thursday afternoon, bringing the total number of coronavirus-related deaths to 14,576, the department said Friday. The latest figures will be announced later Saturday afternoon.