Boris Johnson is back behind his desk in Downing Street after three weeks away battling coronavirus.
The Prime Minister gave a stirring speech thanking the people for their “sheer grit and guts” shown throughout the lockdown.
He said: “Every day I know that this virus brings new sadness and mourning to households across the land.
“And it is still true that this is the biggest single challenge this country has faced since the war and I in no way minimise the continuing problems we face.
“And yet it is also true that we are making progress with fewer hospital admissions, fewer covid patients in ICU, and real signs now that we are passing through the peak.
“[That’s] thanks to your forbearance, your good sense, your altruism, your spirit of community.”
However, the lockdown will continue.
Mr Johnson said the country could not risk a second spike in Covid-19 numbers.
He said: “I can see the long-term consequences of lock down as clearly as anyone and so yes I entirely share your urgency.
“Yet we must also recognise the risk of a second spike, the risk of losing control of that virus and letting the reproduction rate go back over one.
“That would mean not only a new wave of death and disease but also an economic disaster and we would be forced once again to slam on the brakes across the whole country and the whole economy.”
He added: “I refuse to throw away all the effort and the sacrifice of the British people and to risk a second major outbreak and huge loss of life and the overwhelming of the NHS.
“I ask you to contain your impatience because I believe we are coming now to the end of the first phase of this conflict.”