Boris Johnson to set out details of lockdown easing plan 'in coming days'

Yahoo News UK

Boris Johnson will set out details of how he plans to ease the coronavirus lockdown in the coming days, according to his official spokesman.

The prime minister returned to work on Monday morning after recovering from COVID-19.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

In an address outside 10 Downing Street, Johnson warned of a “huge loss of life” if lockdown measures are lifted too quickly.

“The PM has said we will be setting out more details in the coming days,” the spokesman said on Monday.

Boris Johnson will lay out his government's plan for easing its coronavirus lockdown later this week. (AFP via Getty Images)
Boris Johnson will lay out his government's plan for easing its coronavirus lockdown later this week. (AFP via Getty Images)

“We’re coming through the peak and we will set out more information in due course.”

Speaking to the nation for the first time since being hospitalised, Johnson compared the coronavirus to an “unexpected and invisible mugger”.

The government is under increasing pressure to publish details of its plan for easing the lockdown, particularly as several other European nations have outlined their own proposals.

Under the UK’s social distancing measures, people are only allowed outside for food, health reasons, one form of exercise, or work (and only if they cannot work from home).

Latest coronavirus news, updates and advice

Live: Follow all the latest updates from the UK and around the world

Fact-checker: The number of COVID-19 cases in your local area

6 charts and maps that explain how COVID-19 is spreading

On Sunday, foreign secretary Dominic Raab rejected calls to outline a lockdown exit strategy, as the death toll in UK hospitals passed the 20,000 mark.

A new poll revealed that Britons are overwhelmingly in favour of the restrictions, with many concerned they will be eased too soon.

Downing Street was unable to specify when in the "coming days" the government will give details on alterations to the lockdown.

The spokesman said: "I don't have a fixed date to give you right now."

But it was understood that it will be made clear by the end of the week how ministers will judge the ability to move into the second phase.

The government is yet to outline its plans for an easing of its coronavirus lockdown. (Getty Images)
The government is yet to outline its plans for an easing of its coronavirus lockdown. (Getty Images)

Johnson has said the government's five tests must be met before changes are made, but his spokesman was unable to say which had been met.

The five tests are: making sure the NHS can cope; a consistent fall in the daily death rate; the rate of infection dropping; ensuring there are enough tests and personal protective equipment (PPE) to meet future demand and ruling out the risk of a second outbreak.

Mr Johnson has taken back all of the responsibilities handed over to Raab, Downing Street said, and is expected to chair Cabinet on Thursday.

Watch the video below

The spokesman said: "He's back full time. In terms of responsibilities and duties, he will be doing all of those."

Johnson will observe the minute's silence on Tuesday for frontline workers who have lost their lives to coronavirus.

The latest testing statistics showed the government still appears to be way off meeting its 100,000 daily target by the end of the month.

The official spokesman said that 29,058 tests had been carried out in England, Scotland and Wales in the 24 hours up to 9am on Saturday.

Downing Street played down expectations that it will be clear whether or not the government has reached its testing target this week.

"It's going to take a little while longer for that to be clear,” the spokesman said.

On Monday, all 10,000 home testing kits available were ordered in an hour while, as of 11.30am, around 18,000 of the 22,000 testing site slots had gone, the spokesman said.

Coronavirus: what happened today

Click here to sign up to the latest news, advice and information with our daily Catch-up newsletter

What to read next