PM wary of relaxing lockdown restrictions too quickly

Published by Rhys Taylor-Brown on April 20th 2020, 9:00am

Prime minister Boris Johnson has informed his cabinet colleagues that easing the UK’s lockdown measures too early could bring about a second wave of coronavirus.

Johnson is believed to have met with foreign secretary Dominic Raab at the prime ministerial Chequers estate on Friday, where he is staying as he continues his recovery from coronavirus, to discuss the pandemic.

He is also thought to have informed other cabinet officials that preventing a second peak of the virus was crucial.

The prime minister has recently come under criticism for failing to attend five cabinet office meetings to address the pandemic in its early stages. However, a spokesman for the government informed that public that it is "entirely normal and proper" for some COBR [Cabinet Office Briefing Room] meetings to be chaired by a secretary of state as opposed to the prime minister.

The spokesman added that the PM has been "at the helm" of the government’s response to the outbreak and "providing leadership during this hugely challenging period for the whole nation".

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden added that Johnson was "being briefed on an hourly and daily basis" despite not attending earlier meetings.

Addressing the outlook for the next review of the UK's lockdown measures, Dowden said that the government would take action on easing restrictions "based on the evidence", reminding the public of Boris Johnson's statement back in March that it may take 12 weeks to start to "turn the tide".

Speaking to BBC Radio Four, Dowden said: "What's happened is kind of consistent with that. But we will take the appropriate measures based on the facts and evidence, and that has not changed."

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Authored By

Rhys Taylor-Brown
Junior Editor
April 20th 2020, 9:00am

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