LONDON (Reuters) – There are signs that social distancing measures are starting to slow the spread of coronavirus in Britain but that does not mean that the new rules should be relaxed, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said on Tuesday.

“There are some signs – as a result of people observing social distancing – that we may be able to flatten the spread of infection but now is absolutely not the time for people to imagine that there can be any relaxation or slackening,” Gove said at a news conference.

Stephen Powis, National Medical Director of NHS England, added that the next week or two would be critical in the fight against the virus.

(Reporting by William James, Elizabeth Howcroft and Andy Bruce, writing by Alistair Smout, editing by Estelle Shirbon)