UK PM urges people to return to work

Marco Green
July 13, 2020

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called on the British public to try and start leading more normal lives as the country starts to gradually emerge from the coronavirus lockdown.

"We should now say go back to work if you can", Johnson said as he answered questions from the public in a social media broadcast yesterday.

"We're learning as we go and our response has to be agile, and if the science is developing towards masks as a good mitigation in circumstances where you can't maintain the 2 metres [social distancing], then obviously the government will look at that and make a recommendation as to how people should behave", he told Times Radio Breakfast.

"I think everybody has sort of taken the "stay at home if you can". My message now would be that if you can go back to work, then, provided your company's obeying the guidelines, provided its safe, then you should go back", he said.

Mr Johnson said he wanted people to go back to work "if they can" as he expressed a desire for people to "lead their lives more normally".

"The government's official coronavirus guidance now advises people to "stay at home as much as possible" and 'work from home if you can".

Civil servants should set an example by getting off their couches and back to their desks at work, Johnson said.

"I do think we need to be stricter in insisting people wear face coverings in confined spaces where they are meeting people they don't normally meet".

But he said ministers are examining ways of ensuring people cover their faces while out shopping.

People in England are only required to wear face masks on public transport and when visiting hospitals as a visitor or outpatient.

Downing Street is understood to be looking at the issue, amid suggestions new rules could be introduced within a few weeks.

Earlier this week, the World Health Organisation acknowledged there is "emerging evidence" that Covid-19 could be spread through particles in the air.

He also indicated that strict precautions against COVID-19 infections could allow Britain to minimise economic disruption in the coming months without seeing a second wave of coronavirus and hoped for V-shaped or quick economic bounce back. "But only if we all follow the guidance", he told People's PMQs on Facebook on Friday.

The premier also said data show the coronavirus outbreak "seems to be tapering off" in the United Kingdom and that he would not impose another nationwide lockdown "if we can possibly avoid it".

"It is going to be the winter where we are really going to have to be on it, because that is when you are going to get flu, you are going to get real problems of general public health, and there is a risk that the virus will come back again anyway".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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