Government to unveil plan to restart the economy next week
Prime minister Boris Johnson has confirmed the government will unveil a plan next week that will include details on how to restart the British economy, how to travel to work and how to "make life in the workplace safer".
In the prime minister's first press briefing for five weeks, he said the UK was "past the peak and on the downward slope" of the coronavirus outbreak and had so many reasons to be "hopeful for the long-term".
Johnson said that in order to consider easing lockdown restrictions, five key tests must first be satisfied, including protecting the NHS's ability to cope and a sustained fall in death and infection rates.
"We've come through the peak – or rather we've come under what could have been a vast peak – and we can now see the sunlight and the pasture ahead of us," he said.
He thanked the NHS for "so much" and said the government was "determined to overcome those challenges" that have become "so knotty and infuriating". He added: "We are throwing everything at it, heart and soul, night and day, to get it right, and we will get it right. We are making huge progress."
Home secretary Priti Patel's announcement yesterday that the UK should expect social distancing ‘in every single work area' came after it was reported that the hospitality sector saw sales decline by 21.3% in the first quarter of 2020, as the coronavirus lockdown forced businesses to close.
UKHospitality, which has called for a "unified" approach to reopening, said that an extended period of social distancing could cost one million jobs in the hospitality sector unless measures to protect businesses were put in place.