Monday, May 11, 2020, latest;
Prime Minister Boris Johnson followed up his Sunday evening address by chairing today’s briefing, discussing his lockdown plan and reminding the public about the new Covid Alert System.
Johnson re-emphasised the importance of the R value – Reproductive rate – and lowering it in relation to relaxing lockdown restrictions, making it clear that the Government would evaluate the R level before easing further lockdown measures.
“After each step we will closely monitor the impact of that step on the R and the number of infections. We’ll only take the next step when we are satisfied it is safe to do so.”
Throughout the period of the lockdown, the UK has been in level four of the Government’s Covid alert levels, Johnson said, with the UK now in the position to take careful steps to go to level three.
On the vaccine front, the PM said the Government was no nearer to finding a vaccine for the deadly virus, citing SARS as a case where no vaccines have yet been created, but said he had heard “positive noises” about one in relation to Covid-19.
“What I can tell you is that the UK is at the forefront of concerting international activity to try to deliver a vaccine.”
The Prime Minister also reminded the public that only those who cannot work from home, such as construction and manufacturing workers, should speak to their employer about going back to work. However, the message remained that those who can work from home should continue to do so, adding: “For the vast majority of people still means staying at home as much as possible.”
For the first time since lockdown was imposed, Johnson said that the public could see people outside their households, although the flexibility must be maintained with social distancing.
“There are new flexibilities to ensure people can see somebody who isn’t in their household, but you have to do it one-on-one, outdoors, ” Johnson said.
Johnson also gave an update on the App, saying the 18,000 new contract tracers being recruited by the Government would be in place by May 18.