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Lockdown exit plan to come next week, says Boris Johnson

PUBLISHED: 18:32 30 April 2020 | UPDATED: 19:58 30 April 2020

Boris Johnson announced plans to ease lockdown would be announced next week. Photo: Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright/PA Wire

Boris Johnson announced plans to ease lockdown would be announced next week. Photo: Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright/PA Wire

Boris Johnson has promised to set out a “road map” next week for the easing of lockdown restrictions.

The prime minister led his first Downing Street press briefing since recovering from coronavirus and said plans to lift lockdown and to kickstart the economy would be announced in the coming week.

Mr Johnson, whose fiancée Carrie Symonds gave birth to a son on Wednesday, said: “The dates and times of each individual measure will be very much driven by where we are in the epidemic, what the data is really saying and we are getting in a lot more data every day now and in the course of the next few days.”

He added details on education, childcare and the work place would form part of a “comprehensive” plan to “get the economy moving”.

The prime minister also declared the UK was “past the peak” of the coronavirus outbreak and “on a downward slope”.

A dummy COVID-19 swab is handled inside a sealed sterile tube during a demonstration by lab technicians who are carrying out diagnostic tests for coronavirus. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA WireA dummy COVID-19 swab is handled inside a sealed sterile tube during a demonstration by lab technicians who are carrying out diagnostic tests for coronavirus. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Mr Johnson said: “At no stage has our NHS been overwhelmed, no patient went without a ventilator, no patient was deprived of intensive care, we have five of the seven projected Nightingale wards.”

Mr Johnson acknowledged the “frustrations” in expanding the number of coronavirus tests and the difficulties getting sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE).

A nurse prepares to take a sample at a COVID 19 testing centre. Pic: Andrew Milligan/PA WireA nurse prepares to take a sample at a COVID 19 testing centre. Pic: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

He said: “I’m not going to minimise the logistical problems we face in getting the right protective gear to the right people at the right time, both in the NHS and in care homes.

“Or the frustrations that we’ve experienced in expanding the numbers of tests.

“But what I can tell you is that everyone responsible for tackling these problems, whether in Government or the NHS or Public Health England or in local authorities, we’re throwing everything at it, heart and soul, night and day, to get it right - and we will get it right and we’re making huge progress.

“And I will not underrate the work and achievement of those who are dealing with global shortages in a global pandemic - they are rising to a challenge we’ve never seen in our lifetimes.”


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