LONDON (Reuters) – The British government must not rush to ease the coronavirus lockdown and should act cautiously to avoid a second spike in infections and a second lockdown that would damage public confidence, its stand-in leader said on Sunday.

Foreign minister Dominic Raab, who is deputising for Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he recovers from COVID-19, was pressed to reveal the government’s thinking on how and when Britain might begin to see an easing of social distancing measures.

“We are at a delicate and dangerous stage and we need to make sure that the next steps are sure-footed,” Raab told Sky news, adding that the government was “doing the homework” behind closed doors on what would happen in the next phase.

“It’s not responsible to start speculating about the individual measures,” he said, urging the public to stick to the current guidance, which is to stay at home except for essential travel.

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