'Concerning' rise in number of people using cars as people urged to 'stay at home'

Statistics showing a "concerning" rise in car journeys have sparked fresh warnings to stay at home during the coronavirus lockdown.

By Sean Gleaves
Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 7:28 pm

Warnings for people to stay at home were reiterated during the daily Downing Street briefing after it was revealed the number of people using their cars had increased.

Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, showed a graph on transport use in Great Britain that revealed motor vehicle usage had jumped by around 10% in a day.

This was the first daily rise in two weeks.

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Dr Doyle said: "This shows a slightly concerning trend because we have seen an uptick in motor vehicle traffic.

"The message here is people do really need to stay at home."

The warning comes after it was confirmed a total of 29,474 people had tested positive for Covid-19 in the UK as of today (April 1).

Another 563 people have also died after contracting the disease, taking the UK total to 2,352 - making today's jump the biggest daily increase since the outbreak began.

Latest Department for Transport figures show that vehicle use increased on Monday. (Credit: Pippa Fowles/Crown Copyright/10 Downing Street/PA Wire)

Dr Doyle also explained how the number of new UK cases was "slightly concerning", and that it is "still too early to say whether the plateau of hospital admissions has ended".

"We need to protect the NHS, and the best way to do that is to stay at home, to avoid catching the disease yourself and obviously avoid giving it to anyone else," she explained.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma recognised the disruption caused by these new measures, but added if they were stopped too quickly "we could potentially see a dangerous second peak."

Mr Sharma said: "The coronavirus pandemic is the biggest threat our country has faced in decades.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma explained the "coronavirus pandemic is the biggest threat our country has faced in decades." (Credit: Pippa Fowles/Crown Copyright/10 Downing Street/PA Wire)

"And we are not alone. All over the world we are seeing the devastating impact of this invisible killer."

"We recognise the extreme disruption the necessary actions we are asking people to take are having on their lives, their businesses, their jobs, and the nation's economy.

"And, I want to thank everyone across our whole country for the huge effort that is being made collectively."

Mr Sharma added £12 billion in grants for businesses was now with local authorities and urged them to pay it out "as quickly as possible".