Coronavirus LIVE: ‘Virus can stay on fabrics for days’ as Boris Johnson prepares for grilling on lockdown exit strategy – The Sun
BORIS Johnson is preparing for a grilling this evening after he revealed his exit strategy.
The PM today unveiled his 50-page 'roadmap' for easing the current lockdown restrictions.
He said that the only long-term solution to ending the pandemic is a vaccine but stressed that this might never happen.
But tonight he faces questions from the public and the media – as critics say the exit plan isn't clear, and one MP suggesting guidlines should have been released earlier.
Some of the new rules, including wearing masks on public transport and returning to work, have sparked confusions for Brits who're unsure on whether to stock up on masks, make their own or if they should travel on public transport at all.
There are also questions on who exactly can return to work – but more guidelines will be released soon.
This comes as deaths in the UK increased to 32,065 after 210 more deaths were recorded today.
It is the lowest daily rise in six weeks.
Follow our coronavirus live blog for all the latest news and updates…
JEREMY HUNT SAYS US & EUROPE TESTING IS ONE OF THE ‘BIGGEST FAILURES’
Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said Europe and America’s approach to coronavirus testing is “one of the biggest failures of scientific advice to ministers in our lifetimes”.
He said: “It's clear now that a major blindspot in the approach taken in Europe and America was caused by our focus on pandemic flu rather than pandemic coronaviruses such as Sars or Mers.
“Asian countries took a different path. As a result, Korea had no more than nine deaths on any one day, Singapore is on just 20 deaths in total, Taiwan just seven.
“The failure to look at what these countries were doing at the outset will rank, I'm afraid, as one of the biggest failures of scientific advice to ministers in our lifetimes.”
FRANCE’S DEATH TOLL HITS 26,643
France’s death toll has hit 26,643 up by 263.
The country has the fourth-worst death toll in Europe, behind Spain, Italy and the UK.
BORIS TRUSTS IN ‘BRITISH COMMON SENSE’
The PM has said he trusts in British common sense after revealing his 50-page lockdown exit plan.
Boris promised more information was coming, but added that people should use “good, solid British common sense”.
He told the House of Commons: “The Government is today submitting to the House a plan which is conditional and dependent, as always, on the common sense and observance of the British people and on continual reassessment of the data.”
The PM stressed that “different parts of the UK may need to stay in full lockdown longer” but stressed the country would get through it as quickly as possible.
GOLF COURSE ON ENGLISH-WELSH BORDER FACES DILEMMA
A golf course straddling the border between England and Wales faces a dilemma as the Welsh government ban golf – but the PM has allowed sport to go ahead.
It’s okay to head to a golf course for a few rounds, as long as your partner is within your household, and you both exersise social distancing.
But two holes of the Llanymynech are in England, which is allowing golf, and others in Wales, which is not.
The club secretary, Sian Whiteoak, said: “We’re trying to work it out. We have some holes in England and some holes in Wales, so we don’t know what we can do.”
The Sun's Digital Political Editor says: TIME IS RUNNING OUT – BORIS JOHNSON’S NEW ROADMAP ANALYSIS
Today's new roadmap contains pages upon pages of new documents and guidance for what will happen in the next stages of Britain's lockdown.
But it's clear that with every new answer, ten more questions pop up.
While the fine print explores exactly how people will be expected to go back to work and to school, it's obvious that people will continue to be worried about catching the virus.
The PM will have a hard job convincing them in the coming days and weeks to get back to some sort of normality.
Questions also remain about how these new rules will be policed.
Boris said Health and Safety chiefs will look at how they can enforce the rules – and there will be on the spot inspections too.
Whether that will be enough to convince unions and employees they will be safe too, remains to be seen.
What happens if employees refuse to go to work?
And what happens if employers can't keep someone safe?
The PM insisted that “good common sense” will take the country through into this new “inbetween” stage.
But Boris Johnson's fresh advice will leave a lot of people scratching their heads tonight as they try to move into a “new normal” world living with coronavirus.
BRIT HOTELS WON’T OPEN UNTIL MIDDLE OF SUMMER
Hotels across the country won’t be opened again until June 4 at the earliest,
It means Brit breaks will be off the cards until the middle of summer.
The predicted date may also be pushed back depending on the coronavirus situation in Britain.
MUM TURNING A PROFIT ON SUPERMARKET DELIVERY SLOTS
A mum-of-two has revealed she’s buying up supermarket delivery spots a week and selling them on for £30 a pop.
Speaking exclusively to Fabulous, Louise Lucas, 42,insisted the idea came about by accident.
Louise explained: “Just before lockdown hit my grandfather asked me to come down and help him on his farm.
“I was more than happy to do so, since when the pandemic struck I lost my job working in a beautician's.
“However, in the first couple of weeks I hated the lack of control – and the grafter in me knew I had to find a new way of earning cash.”
She says she doesn’t care about buying up the coveted slots – because people are still willing to pay a premium for them.
TORY MP SAYS GUIDELINES SHOULD HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED FIRST
A Conservative MP has suggested the Government should have released the guidelines for new lockdown measures before the “initial headline”.
Speaking on Sky News Stephen Hammond said: “Rather than have a day of people saying there’s ‘no clarity,’ well there is clarity.
“Maybe it’s gone out in the wrong order?”
He added No 10’s Comms team could look into the order the documents were released in, and that in his opinion it would have been more helpful for Brits to understand the guidelines first.
It comes amid some confusion on the PM’s new lockdown measures, for instance on those who can return to work and when.
It’s understood full guidelines will be published in the coming days.
EX-HEALTH MINISTER SAYS UK SHOULD ‘LOOK INTO’ANTIGEN TESTS
An ex-Health Minister has suggested Britain could now look into antigen testing and temperature testing for those entering the UK.
Conservative MP Stephen Hammond was asked on Sky News if he would have imposed a 14-day quarantine for those entering Britain sooner.
He suggested as well as isolating for two weeks, the UK could look into antigen and temperature testing for incoming visitors.
WALES FIRST MINISTER WARNS DON'T DRIVE FROM ENGLAND TO WALES
The Welsh First Ministe Mark Drakefordhas warned anyone planning to travel from England to Wales to exercise they could be met with police presence.
He has criticised Boris Johnson's new plans, which allow Brits to travel in their cars “to other destinations”.
But with different rules in Wales – which has a higher R rate – Mr Drakeford has warned anyone travelling from outside the country they'll need to comply with Welsh rules – regardless of what the PM says.
BENIDORM BRITS ENJOY FIRST PUB PINT
Brits in Benidorm enjoyed their first pub pint in two months today as lockdown measures in the country eased.
But some of the thirsty lot were criticised for ditching their masks.
Bars and cafes in the famous Costa Blanca resort started getting back to business this morning, with swathes heading out to enjoy their first taste of a tap-pulled pint in months..
KEY FURLOUGH ANNOUNCEMENT TOMORROW
It has been revealed a key announcement on the government's furlough scheme will be made tomorrow.
It comes as certain workforces have been instructed they can return to work, as the UK takes step towards the next phase of lockdown.
PM 'NOT COMPELLING' USE OF FACE MASKS
When asked if everybody using public transport in London should wear face coverings, Boris Johnson says “we’re certainly not compelling people to wear face coverings” but “they can be of benefit” to help avoid infecting others.
The PM adds “it is advisable” to wear the coverings in enclosed spaces such as public transport and shops.
EXIT STRATEGY WILL ONLY WORK IF WE FOLLOW THE RULES, PM SAYS
Boris Johnson has promised his 50-page exit strategy WILL work – but only as long as Brits follow the rules.
The PM today published a lengthy plan to get the country back to school and work – without risking a huge second wave of infections. Guidlines include wearing masks on public transport and the return of sport – without audiences – within weeks.
COVID-19 CAN BE DETECTED IN WATER SUPPLY
Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he hopes the COVID-19 alert system will be able to monitor threats locally and spot flare ups “if the COVID is detected in the water supply of a certain town” or in a school.
SOCIAL DISTANCING WILL BE ‘DIFFICULT’ ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Boris Johnson admits “it is going to be difficult” to ensure social distancing on public transport, as there will be an influx of people travelling into work under the loosening of the coronavirus lockdown.
He adds there is going to have to be “very substantial reductions in the capacity”.
WILL FURLOUGH SCHEME BE CUT BY 25%?
SNP MP Drew Hendry asks Boris Johnson if the furlough support scheme is going to be cut by 25%, as reported in some newspapers.
While the Prime Minister doesn't rule it, he warns Hendry not to read everything in the papers, and encourages him to wait for the chancellor's announcement tomorrow.
'WE WILL NOT HESITATE TO PUT ON THE BREAKS'
Boris Johnson says the new ’Stay Alert’ lockdown measures will “be flexible” and “will make sure where there are local flare ups – we will not hesitate to put on the breaks”.
The Prime Minister adds it is “absolutely right that to have a strong NHS as we must and we do and we will, we need a strong economy as well”.
CORBYN: PM SHOULD RECONSIDER AND NOT LOOSEN LOCKDOWN
Former Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, says the Prime Minister statement yesterday has “given a carte blanche” to employers to force people to return to work without proper protection.
He says the PM's actions will “make the inequalities in this country even worse” and asked him to reconsider – and not lift the lockdown until “it is completely clear we have the coronavirus crisis under control.”
Boris Johnson says he “rejects that characterisation of what we are doing” and he's only re-emphasising those who cannot work from home – like in the construction and manufacturing sector – should start to.
COVID-19 'OPPORTUNITY FOR CLEANER, GREENER UK
Boris Johnson is asked if he wants to return to the “old normal of crowded and polluted trains”, or if he envisions a better, cleaner future for the UK?
The Prime Minister says: “Out of this tragedy, out of this disaster, we hope some changes and opportunities come.”
“I certainly see an opportunity for cleaner, greener transport.”
'SPOT INSPECTIONS' TO ENSURE THOSE RETURNED TO WORK ARE PROTECTED
Labour MP Chi Onwurah says those being asked to go back to work now are lower-paid and those in manual “people facing” jobs without transport, childcare or PPE in place – “putting more risk on those already at risk.”
She urges the prime minister to vow that “everyone has a duty and right to stay safe”.
Boris Johnson responds: “We are going to insist that businesses across this country look after their workers, are COVID-secure, COVID-compliant.”
He adds: “The Health and Safety Executive [HSE] will be enforcing it and we will be having spot inspections to make sure businesses are keeping their employees safe and it will of course be open to employees who do not feel safe to raise that, not just with their employers, but with the HSE as well.”
ANOTHER THREE COVID-19 DEATHS IN NORTHERN IRELAND
Northern Ireland reports another three deaths of people with COVID-19.
It takes the total number of deaths in the region to 438.
PM DENIES ’THREE NATIONS APPROACH’
Liz Saville Roberts says there is now a “three nations” approach – in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – in the fight against coronavirus.
She acts Boris Johnson if he can confirm “that almost everything announced today – he is acting as the Prime Minister of England?”
The PM says he “rejects that completely” and that “it is very good advice for the entire population of the UK though he “respects the inflexions“ that may be needed “locally and nationally”.
WHITTY AND VALLANCE APPROVED 'STAY ALERT'
Sir Ed Davey asks the Prime Minister to confirm reports neither England's chief medical officer,
Prof Chris Whitty, or the government's chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, signed off yesterday’s the shift in the public health message from”stay at home” to “stay alert”.
Boris Johnson replies bluntly “that is not right”.
'MIXED MESSAGING RISKS LIVES'
Ian Blackford asks for clarity on Boris Johnson’s coronavirus lockdown guidance, adding “mixed messaging risks lives.”
In order to urgently establish clarity, he poses five questions to the PM – including asking him to confirm he accepts in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are in charge of whether and when to ease the lockdown.
Johnson gives a quick series of answers to all five questions – but responds says “yes” to the first.
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