Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has urged the public to stay indoors over this Easter weekend, telling people: “Let’s not ruin it now.”
He said after almost three weeks of lockdown “we are starting to see the impact of the sacrifices we’ve all made.”
Mr Raab said it was still “too early” to lift the restrictions.
A total of 7,978 people have now died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus, up by 881 on Wednesday.
Speaking at the government’s daily briefing, Mr Raab said a decision on whether to ease the lockdown measures would not come until “the end of next week”.
He was deputising for the prime minister, who remained in hospital but was moved out of intensive care on Thursday evening.
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