Britain must stay in lockdown until June to curb the threat of coronavirus, a leading Government adviser has warned.

The UK now has 17,089 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 1,019 deaths.

On Monday evening, Boris Johnson ordered Britain to go into lockdown for three weeks but stressed that the restrictions will be kept under ‘constant review’.

The Prime Minister has now written to every single household in the UK to urge everyone to obey the lockdown and has warned that ‘things will get worse before they get better’.

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But professor Neil Ferguson, who is the Government’s leading epidemiology adviser, believes the UK’s lockdown needs to be in place until June.

Ferguson told The Times: ‘We’re going to have to keep these measures in place, in my view, for a significant period of time – probably until the end of May, maybe even early June. May is optimistic.’

Britons breaking the lockdown rules can now be arrested or fined £60 under new police powers.

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The Home Office has said the police ‘will always apply their common sense and discretion’.

Meanwhile, Johnson, who revealed he had tested positive for coronavirus on Friday, wrote in his letter to British households: ‘From the start, we have sought to put in the right measures at the right time.

‘We will not hesitate to go further if that is what the scientific and medical advice tells us we must do.

‘It’s important for me to level with you – we know things will get worse before they get better.

‘But we are making the right preparations, and the more we all follow the rules, the fewer lives will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal.

‘That is why, at this moment of national emergency, I urge you, please, to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.’

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