Boris Johnson will proceed with “extreme caution” in easing the lockdown, a Cabinet minister has said, as he warned the public not to “throw away” their hard work by going outside.

British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said it would be “absolutely tragic” if people damaged the success social distancing has had on tackling coronavirus by leaving home to enjoy the warm weather.

His warning came today after police warned they are “fighting a losing battle” as Londoners headed to parks and beachgoers descended on Brighton’s pebbles.

Mr Johnson was expected to announce only very modest changes in detailing his “road map” for easing the lockdown on Sunday evening, but there are concerns mixed messaging has prompted the public to head outside.

Mr Shapps said: “It’s vital that we don’t throw away essentially the great work of seven weeks of people respecting very impressively the rules and the guidelines by throwing it away because it happens to be sunny outside this weekend, that would be absolutely tragic.”

Speaking at the Downing Street press conference, he said the British government would be proceeding with “an unbelievable degree of caution”.

Extreme caution is actually the watchword on this,” Mr Shapps added.

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