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It could be up to six months before life in the UK returns to “normal”, England’s deputy chief medical officer has said.

Speaking at the government’s daily coronavirus briefing, Dr Jenny Harries added: “This is not to say we would be in complete lockdown for six months.”

But, she added, “We have to be really, really responsible and keep doing what we’re all doing.”

It comes as the number of UK virus deaths has reached 1,228.

Meanwhile, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said the UK is on “emergency footing” in a way “unprecedented” in peacetime.

Giving an update on the measures in place to get equipment to frontline NHS staff, Mr Jenrick said: “We haven’t done anything like this since the Second World War.”

When asked whether the reporting of deaths was accurate, following confusion of the figures in recent days, Dr Harries said: “We have to make sure that when we’re reporting the family is content and knows and all our data is absolutely accurate.

“There is is always a time lag for us to check and evaluate that the data across the system is linked.

“As we have sadly had to register more deaths, that time period takes longer. ”

Mr Jenrick also provided more detail on how the government would shield the most vulnerable people in the country, after 1.5 million were told to stay at home for 12 weeks.