In the nation’s address on May 10, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed the “conditional plan” to reopen the country after being under lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 disease. While the number of active cases of coronavirus infection in the UK remains 186,984 and it has recorded at least 31,855 fatalities, Johnson unveiled the plan that would allow citizens to spend some time outdoors from May 13. Stating the top priority to protect the UK’s public health services (NHS), the British PM has said that the country “cannot move forward” unless the five tests proposed by the government are satisfied.
Johnson said, “We must protect our NHS. We must see sustained falls in the death rate. We must see sustained and considerable falls in the rate of infection. We must sort out our challenges in getting enough PPE to the people who need it, and yes, it is a global problem but we must fix it.”
“And last, we must make sure that any measures we take do not force the reproduction rate of the disease,” he added.
Johnson has declared that the people who were having trouble in working remotely like the ones working in manufacturing or construction industry, can resume work in their office spaces but are advised to avoid public transport to maintain social distancing. Even though UK PM stressed on the "Covid Alert System" with five levels that will determine the extent of lockdown, he hoped that next step involving students to return to some schools will be reached “at the earliest by June 1”. It would also include the reopening of some shops but alerted that it would only take place if supported by science.
The stage after some schools and shops reopen would involve hospitality businesses to reopen along with other public spaces “if numbers support it”. However, Johnson said that it would not be before July 1. According to the British PM, this plan to reopen the country is the “first sketch of a roadmap for reopening society”. Johnson added that “this is not the time simply to end the lockdown this week. Instead, we are taking the first careful steps to modify our measures”. Moreover, the penalties for people who break the lockdown rules will also increase. Boris Johnson stressed repeatedly that all proposals are 'conditional' and they might be changed based on the reproduction rate of the highly contagious disease.