The government has announced an extension to the coronavirus lockdown for \u201cat least\u201d a further three weeks.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe decision was announced at today\u2019s (16 April) press briefing which was led by foreign secretary Dominic Raab. It also comes after Raab led an emergency Cobra committee and cabinet meetings about the continuation of social distancing measures earlier this morning.\r\n\r\nDuring the briefing, Rabb said any change to the UK\u2019s social distancing measures now would risk a \u201csignificant increase in the spread of the virus\u201d, that would threaten a second peak of the virus and substantially increase the number of deaths. \u201cIt would undo the progress we have made to date,\u201d he added.\r\n\r\nHe continued: \u201cEarly relaxation would do more damage to the economy over the longer period. I want to be really clear about this, the advice from Sage is that relaxing any of the measures currently in place would do more damage to both public health and our economy. \r\n\r\n\u201cBased on this advice, which we have very carefully considered, the government has decided that the current measures must remain in place for the next three weeks.\u201d\r\n\r\nHe added that the government could subsequently decide to relax the measures in some respects, while strengthening them in others.\r\n\r\nThe news comes just days after the Office for Budget Responsibility revealed the UK economy could shrink by as much as 35% in the second quarter of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.\r\n\r\nThe watchdog is also predicting a 13% drop in annual GDP as a result of the outbreak, which it said would \u201ccomfortably exceed\u201d any of the annual falls around the end of each world war or in the financial crisis.