The coronavirus is predicted to infect 80% of the UK's population, a government advisor has claimed.

Rupert Shute, the deputy scientific adviser at the Home Office, made the statement during a press conference call with the Passport Office on Thursday over workers being asked to go back.

In a leaked transcript of a Zoom meeting involving Passport Office managers, seen by the BBC, Mr Shute said: "You are no more at risk at the workplace as you would be in your home or at the supermarket.

"It is about minimising it. We are working on the assessment that 80 per cent of us, if we haven’t already, will get the virus.

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Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has told Brits the dramatic lockdown measures will stay in place

"We cannot hide away from it forever."

The Prime Minister's spokesman said yesterday: "The government’s view is on stopping the spread of the disease to save lives."

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is standing in for Prime Minister Boris Johnson while he recovers from the virus, told Brits the dramatic lockdown measures would stay in place until there is strong evidence that it is working.

In the daily press conference yesterday he said: "We are not done yet, we must keep going."

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Coronavirus outbreak

Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said social distancing is breaking coronavirus transmission and we're beginning to see a "flattening off" in the number of new cases.

The current death toll in the UK stands at 7,862, with the government expecting this number to rise significantly in the next week as we approach the peak of the virus.