June 1, 2020 / 6:57 AM / a month ago

UK is following scientific advice on cautious lockdown easing, minister says

British Business Secretary Alok Sharma holds the daily news conference with NHSE Medical Director, Professor Stephen Powis, on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain May 17, 2020. Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Handout via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - The British government is following scientific advice in cautiously easing the coronavirus lockdown, Business Secretary Alok Sharma said on Monday, after criticism from some prominent epidemiologists.

“Of course scientific advice does differ but I think the key point is what is the overall view from SAGE?” Sharma told BBC TV.

“The overall view from SAGE - the scientific advisory group on emergencies which advises the government - their overall view is that we must do this cautiously and that is precisely what we are doing,” Sharma said, adding that if people obeyed the rules there was a good likelihood that R0 would not go above 1.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Alistair Smout; editing by Michael Holden

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