Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, has accused Boris Johnson of “winging it” in the government’s decision to ease lockdown, making a “difficult situation 10 times worse”.
In an interview with The Guardian, Starmer asked the prime minister to “get a grip” and to regain public confidence in the ability of politicians to appropriately respond to pandemic. According to Starmer: "At precisely the time when there should have been maximum trust in the government, confidence has collapsed.”
No. 10 countered Starmer’s statement, stating that they were approaching the Covid-19 pandemic with due diligence. An official spokesperson for Downing Street said they were focusing on: "helping the country recover safely from coronavirus and restoring the livelihoods of millions of people across the country".
The government is expected to outline further plans to ease lockdown later this week. Priti Patel, the home secretary, is expected to tell MPs the intended proposals, which have already met with extensive criticism from members of her own party.
It is believed that from this Monday the majority of those arriving in the UK will be asked to self-isolate for a fortnight. However, Augusto Santos Silva, Portugal’s foreign minister, has confirmed he is engaged in discussions with the Home Office which could lead to an “air bridge” agreement, which would allow tourists to returning from the country to avoid such restrictions.
Edward Argar, the health minister, has said that he hopes people will be able to go on holiday this year. However, he said: "I'm not going to say a particular date on when that might happen.
"We will have to be guided by how the disease behaves, controlling any risk of a second wave and controlling the disease.”