Prime minister Boris Johnson is planning to officially return to work on Monday next week after beating coronavirus, according to The Telegraph.
Johnson has reportedly instructed his aides to set-up meetings with individual cabinet ministers to ensure he is fully briefed upon his return to the helm of the UK’s coronavirus response.
The PM’s return is subject to medical advice, but he is expected to chair a cabinet meeting next week and has already been taking on more work over the last seven days during his stay at the Chequers estate, as he completed his recuperation from Covid-19 after leaving hospital on April 12.
Johnson has been communicating with his deputy and foreign secretary Dominic Raab daily and has been keeping in touch with parliamentary proceedings, including Prime Minister’s Questions, with one Telegraph source saying he has been “working pretty much full time for the past week”.
Johnson has also contacted US president Donald Trump to discuss the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and spoke with the Queen over telephone on Wednesday.
The UK has now been under lockdown for a full month, after Johnson first introduced the measures on March 23, and there is concern among the cabinet that keeping businesses closed will cause further damage to the economy and threaten the survival of tens of thousands of SMEs.
Some firms, such as B&Q and Taylor Wimpey have already begun reopening.
The Telegraph understands that Dominic Raab, Priti Patel, Liz Truss, Robert Jenrick and Rishi Sunak are among those in the cabinet who support a move to reopen some businesses and reinvigorate the UK economy.
Health secretary Matt Hancock told the media this week that the UK has now reached its Covid-19 peak, while members of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs has said that a “balance” must be struck between protecting the NHS and the economy.
Meanwhile at Holyrood, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon has already unveiled a document outlining the basis of what will be Scotland’s exit strategy from the lockdown, which suggested that social distancing could be in place for the remainder of the year at minimum.
Over in the US, the process of reopening some states has already begun.