Prime Minister Boris Johnson promises plan to end coronavirus lockdown as UK has 'passed the peak'
The Government will set out a ‘comprehensive plan’ on the first stage of lifting the coronavirus lockdown next week, the Prime Minister has said.
Boris Johnson told today’s Downing Street briefing that it was crucial easing the restrictions did not undo the impact they had had on controlling the spread of the disease.
Taking his first briefing since returning to work after himself being hospitalised with Covid-19, he said. "Across this country, families every day are continuing to lose loved ones before their time.
“We grieve for them and with them. But as we grieve we are strengthened in our resolve to defeat this virus and get this country back to health and back on its feet.”
The Prime Minister said the latest figures showed the ‘social distancing’ measures were a success and told the nation: “Your effort and your sacrifice is working and had been proved to work.”
Mr Johnson said hospital admissions and the number of patients in intensive care were both falling and ‘at no stage’ had the NHS been overwhelmed, as had been feared.
He said the country was ‘past the peak’ and ‘on the downward slope’ and the Government was working on plans to reopen schools and work places safely.
“I will be setting out a comprehensive plan next week to explain how we can get our economy moving, how we can get our children back into school, back into childcare and how we can travel to work, how we can make life in the workplace safer and how we can continue to repress the disease and, at the same time, restart the economy,” he said.
Asked about reports the UK was on course to have the highest death toll in Europe, he said comparison between countries was very difficult and real comparison would only be possible at the end of the epidemic.
“I genuinely think, when I look back at what the UK has done, we did the right measures at the right time,” he said.
“We are learning lessons every day, but I do think broadly speaking, we did the right thing at the right time.”