The government does not expect to make changes to coronavirus lockdown restrictions this week, Dominic Raab has said.
The foreign secretary said the UK’s plan “is working” but that “we are still not passed the peak of this virus”.
“Keep this up, we have come too far, lost too many loved ones and sacrificed too much to ease up,” he said.
It came as deaths in UK hospitals rose to 11,329 – up by 717 since Sunday.
Mr Raab – who is standing in for Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he recovers from his coronavirus infection – said a meeting of scientific advisers would take place to review evidence relating to the current lockdown restrictions this week.
“We don’t expect to make any changes to the measures currently in place at that point and we won’t until we’re confident, as confident as we realistically can be, that any such changes can be safely made,” he said.
He told the daily Downing Street news conference that easing restrictions too early would “risk a second wave” of infections.
And responding to claims the government lacks an exit strategy, Mr Raab said it was “crucially important that we do not take our eye off the ball or the public’s focus” on social distancing measures.
The Department of Health said a further 4,342 people had tested positive for coronavirus as of 09:00 BST on Monday.