Public warned to 'only travel if you need to' as UK sees 2% increase in traffic in the last week

The government has urged the public to only "travel if you need to" as the Deputy chief medical officer for England confirmed that roads have been busier across the country.

Dr Jenny Harries warned more people have been using the roads as she urged the public to stay in to limit the spread of Covid-19.

She said: "It has risen a little bit, just 2% or 3% in the last week. I would just like to reinforce how important it is that we retain that success in reducing the amount of contacts we’re having and our travelling."

She also said "pretending we can jump out" of the coronavirus lockdown is not the answer.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps also urged people to stay at home over what is expected to be another warm and sunny weekend.

The Transport Secretary said: "The country has done incredibly well in adhering to social distancing and there is a danger as we go into yet another warm sunny weekend that people think that perhaps these graphs are showing that the peak is over."

"It isn’t over, we’re riding perhaps, we hope, a downward trend but it is by no means, no means established yet."

He added: "When people ask me when will the measures, the social distancing, the stay at home measures, be altered, my answer in some ways is that some of this lies in your own hands."

"The more we adhere to it and are strict about the social distancing that is required, the faster that decision will be able to be made," he said.

The government would keep under airport scanning checks under review. Credit: PA

Mr Shapps also confirmed the government would keep airport scanning and temperature checks under review as the amount of flights coming into the UK is only "about 4%" from prior to the lockdown.

He also confirmed there are "no British holidaymakers stranded on cruise ships anywhere in the world" as he spoke of the government's efforts to bring Britons home from oversees

His comments follow Matt Hancock's announcement that people whose work is critical to the Covid-19 response and those they live with, will be able to register for a test if they have symptoms.

But the government has closed applications for essential workers to have coronavirus tests - just hours after first opening - due to "significant" demand.

As well as stopping bookings for drive-through centres, the 5,000 home testing kits which were available to order ran out within two minutes of applications opening.

Mr Shapps dismissed suggestions that the website allowing critical workers to book tests had crashed.

He said: “There were reports that the website had crashed, which it hadn’t, it was simply that the slots for today were taken up."

"We’ve seen in the last few days this difference between the capacity available, I think the last figure I saw was 51,000, and the number of tests done, 28,000 yesterday."

He added: "I can tell you 16,000 of those were booked during the first period of that being online and the site has actually been brought back up around now for more people to go and book sites, it will then close off again, more tests will become available tomorrow and so on."

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