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Key points: Prime Minister Conference Before Lockdown

Posted on July 2020 By Aaron Liffen

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson led today's press conference ahead of lockdown easing in England tomorrow morning, including the reopening of pubs and hairdressers. He was joined by chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance. The conference took place amidst concerns the easing of restrictions tomorrow could possibly increase chances of a second wave.

Key points to take away from today's speech are:

  • Mr Johnson said the government's goal remains to allow as many people as possible to live their lives as normally as possible in a way which is as safe as possible.

  • The UK prime minister says there are now fewer than 1,000 new cases each day and the R number - how many people an infected person themselves infects - remains between 0.7 and 0.9 in the UK.

  • He pointed to Leicester, saying it is "not universal" that things are improving, and local lockdowns will be "a feature of our lives for some time to come". But, the PM adds: "That should not take away from the great progress we have made as a country against this vicious disease."

  • The prime minister has said the government has developed an approach for controlling future local outbreaks "which has five principle components". He said they are monitoring, engagement, testing, targeted restrictions and finally, "as a last resort", lockdown.

  • The prime minister has said there will be a moment of remembrance tomorrow for "those whose lives have tragically been lost before their time". He added: "At 5pm on Sunday, the NHS' 77th birthday, we can all come together to clap those who have worked tirelessly and selflessly to help the nation get through this pandemic."

  • Mr Johnson said he will "not hesitate" to reimpose restrictions if coronavirus "runs out of control again".

  • Mr Whitty has said winter might work to the virus' advantage "even if all of us are working incredibly hard". He added: "We have to be ready for that possibility and clearly there are plans, and the prime minister says, they start off with dealing with local outbreaks, and the it is possible to gradually escalate.

To read a brief summary of yesterday's briefing points and important measures click here