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The Government will not impose a circuit breaker lockdown to tackle rising coronavirus rates, Michael Gove has said.

Asked if ministers were going to enforce a two-week shutdown across England, Mr Gove answered: “No”.

He insisted that the spread of the virus did not warrant short-term blanket restrictions.

It came after shadow education secretary Kate Green said that a circuit-break lockdown would give the UK a chance to “reset” before coronavirus spirals out of control.

She told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge: “What we’re saying is that a circuit-breaker for two to three weeks would mean that we would be able to halt and reverse the spread of the infection right across the country.

“We could use that time to boost our lab capacity, to put proper local tracing processes in place and then we would have that breathing space which would buy us time really and stop the real danger that our NHS faces, that our hospitals are going to be filling up far too quickly over the next few weeks.

“And so it would really give us the chance to reset and take a step back before this virus really spirals right out of control.”

Ms Green added: “I think it is really important not to waste the period of a circuit-breaker. You know, it’s not just everybody goes home and stays at home for two to three weeks and then we come back out again.”

Kate Green said that a two to three-week circuit-breaker would give the UK time to put better local tracing processes in place.

The shadow education secretary said: “What we can see already with the local lockdowns, I mean here in Manchester, we’ve been in a local lockdown of sorts since the end of July.

“Rates are continuing to rise with the measures we have now, they’re not working so we have to try something different.”

Ms Green continued: “Nobody can guarantee what’s going to happen in what are the most uncertain and unpredictable circumstances but we do know what makes a difference, what actions need to be taken during those two or three weeks to begin to bear down on the rate of the spread of the virus.

“We know that tracing contacts of those who have tested positive is absolutely crucial to managing the virus. Two or three weeks would give us time to put better local tracing processes in place.

“We know that swift testing and getting the results back swiftly is key to managing the spread of the virus. Two to three weeks would give us time to invest in and boost our lab capacity.”