Prime minister returns to Downing Street

Published by Scott Challinor on April 27th 2020, 7:07am

Prime minister Boris Johnson is back at Downing Street after officially returning to work following his recovery from coronavirus.

Johnson will return to the helm of the UK’s Covid-19 response, chairing Monday morning’s cabinet meeting before speaking with senior ministers and officials. It is not yet known whether he will lead Monday’s daily press briefing.

The PM had been at the Chequers estate completing his recuperation following his discharge from hospital on April 12. He had not been doing official work during his stay, although he did use that time to speak with both the Queen and US president Donald Trump.

UK lockdown measures have now been in force for over one month after being introduced on March 23, and some Conservative MPs favour restrictions being lifted.

Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 committee of backbench Conservative MPs, said: "If there is a question over whether something is necessary or not, I think we should err on the side of openness and trying to make sure that more people can get on with their lives and more people can get on with getting back to their jobs."

However, health minister Edward Argar has said it is “not the time to ease up” despite the impact measures may be having on morale.

Meanwhile, foreign secretary Dominic Raab has suggested that the UK should “move to a new normal”, with social distancing remaining in place for “some time” as opposed to all measures being lifted at once.

A further 413 hospital deaths were announced on Sunday. Although it was the lowest tally of daily deaths reported throughout April, it brought the total UK hospital death toll up to 20,732.

The next review of the UK lockdown is due to take place on May 7.

NHS England medical director, Prof Stephen Powis, said during Sunday’s coronavirus briefing that any easing of existing lockdown measures will risk a second spike in cases.

He said: "My fear is that those curves won't continue to be on a downward trend but will start to go on an upward trend.

"We are not at a point where any of us can be absolutely confident that that's not going to be the case."

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Authored By

Scott Challinor
Business Editor
April 27th 2020, 7:07am

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