UK coronavirus live: Hancock refuses to say whether people have legal right to refuse return to work

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Rishi Sunak expected to extend furlough scheme amid criticism of Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown

Health Secretary Matt Hancock says the reproduction rate of Covid-19 in the UK is “broadly in the middle of the range” of 0.5 to 0.9, insisting it is definitely below one.

Speaking in an earlier interview on Sky News, Hancock said cleaners coming to people’s homes should exercise social distancing rules and follow other good practices such as washing hands regularly.

The principles are really clear and the public has been sensible so far. The Great British public have really understood what social distancing means, why we need to do it… the principles are outside is better than inside, stay two metres away, wash your hands and clean the surfaces, and see as few people as you can, outside of your household because that virus spreads but we do also at the same time need to get people back to work.”

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner has called for the government’s furlough scheme to continue, warning: “it can’t be reduced.”

The economy will not recover if people are forced back to work too soon, Rayner said, arguing that it should go on “as long as we need it”.

Many families wouldn’t be able to survive right now if it wasn’t for things like the furlough scheme, it is absolutely right the Government has stepped in but they can’t now pull the rug from underneath people’s feet – they have to continue to support people throughout this crisis.

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