U.K.'s Boris Johnson rules out swift end to coronavirus lockdown

Вторник, 28 Апр, 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday warned against relaxing the coronavirus restrictions too soon as the country could still face a second wave of attack by the "invisible mugger", in his first remarks since returning to work after contracting the disease that has killed over 20,000 in the UK.

Johnson spent a week in St Thomas' Hospital in London earlier this month, including three nights in intensive care.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says his government will outline plans for an easing of the coronavirus lockdown in the coming days but he's warned that hard judgments will be required.

Britain's government will give a member of the public the chance to ask ministers, scientific and medical officers a question at its daily briefing on its fight against the novel coronavirus, it said on Monday.

In signs of lockdown fatigue, the volume of road traffic has begun to creep up, and businesses including construction sites and home-supply stores have begun to reopen after introducing social distancing measures.

"I'm strongly in favor of getting the country back to work".

But Sir Iain added that the final decision on easing the lockdown will be for Mr Johnson - who has consistently said that he is following the science as he manages the crisis - to make.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who has been standing in for him during his absence, said he was "raring to go".

He has not been doing any official government work during his convalescence, although last week he did speak to Queen Elizabeth and US President Donald Trump, as well as meeting senior ministers.

In his first public statement after recovering from COVID-19, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson thanked the UK people for their commitment to containing the virus and called for patience and determination for the sake of defeating the pandemic and emerging "stronger than ever before".

Critics say Mr Johnson was far too slow to respond once the threat to the United Kingdom became clear, with the Liberal Democrats calling for a public inquiry into the "appalling" fatality rate.

Observers argue that Johnson's own coronavirus experience will strongly shape his views on how to deal with easing the lockdown, and his sense of caution about relaxing restrictions was evident from his remarks this morning.

On Saturday, Labour leader Keir Starmer wrote to Johnson asking why other governments are being transparent about their plans and easing some restrictions, while the British government is not disclosing its strategy.

"We can not spell out how fast or how slow and even when those changes will be made", he said.