Politics

UK could start lifting coronavirus lockdown measures from Monday, PM says

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Key Points
  • "We will want, if we possibly can, to get going with some of these measures on Monday," U.K. Prime Minister Johnson told Parliament.
  • Britain now has the highest Covid-19 death toll in Europe, according to the latest official figures, climbing past Italy with a total of 30,076 fatalities.
  • Johnson is due to set out the government's plan to start reopening the economy on Sunday.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street to attend Prime Minister's Questions at the House of Commons on May 6, 2020 in London, England.
Hollie Adams | Getty Images

The U.K. could start easing its coronavirus lockdown restrictions as early as Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday.

"We will want, if we possibly can, to get going with some of these measures on Monday," Johnson told Parliament in his first Prime Minister's Questions session since falling ill with Covid-19.

He added that a statement will be made on Sunday after the government reviews the latest data, adding it would be a "good thing" if people knew what to expect the following day.

Britain now has the highest Covid-19 death toll in Europe, according to the latest official figures, climbing past Italy which, alongside Spain, has been among the worst-affected countries globally.

Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labour Party, criticized the prime minister over the latest death statistics, asking him: "How on Earth did it come to this?"

In reply, Johnson said: "At this stage, I don't think that international comparisons and the data is yet there to draw all the conclusions that we want."

"I have absolutely no doubt that what the people of this country want us to do now is ... to suppress this disease, to keep suppressing this disease, and to begin the work of getting our country's economy back on its feet."

The U.K.'s coronavirus death toll has risen to 30,076, the government said Wednesday, an increase of 649 fatalities from the previous day. Over 201,000 people have tested positive for the disease.

Housing Minister Robert Jenrick said that crucial construction work is now gradually resuming following a building safety agreement with local authorities.

"Coronavirus will not stop our mission to level up; to unite and unleash the potential of this country," he said at the government's daily coronavirus briefing.

"The prime minister will set out on Sunday our approach to the second phase of this pandemic," Jenrick added. "As we look ahead to supporting businesses as they reopen, my department will lead our work on how local economics can adapt, evolve, recover and grow."

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