Boris Johnson warns Brits against 'lockdown impatience' as we're at 'maximum risk'April 27, 2020
BORIS Johnson today warned Brits against "lockdown impatience" as the country is at the stage of "maximum risk".
In a rallying cry from outside No.10, the PM warned the nation he would "refuse" to risk a second wave of cases by lifting restrictions too soon, as he came back to work for the first time since his own battle with the virus.
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In an address to the nation on the steps of Downing Street, he said the country was at the "moment of opportunity" where we could begin to "wrestle" the virus to the floor.
But he warned that it was the "moment of maximum risk".
The risk of a "second spike" would mean a "new wave of deaths" and an "economic disaster", he said.
It would mean he would be forced to "slam on the brakes across the country" yet again and "reimpose the restrictions to do long and lasting damage".
"I refuse to throw away all the effort and sacrifice the British people and risk a major outbreak and massive loss of life and the overwhelming of the NHS," he said.
"I ask you to contain your impatience.
"I believe we are moving to the end of this first stage of this conflict."
The PM said he would lay out plans to move to the next phase of the lockdown in the "coming days", but warned Brits not to expect an exact date.
"We simply cannot spell out now how fast or slow or even when those changes will be made," he stressed.
"These decisions will be taken with the maximum transparency.
"We will be relying as ever on science.
"Across party lines, bringing in opposition parties as far as we possibly can."
And he called out Captain Tom Moore, who turned 100 this week, calling on the country to show the same "spirit and optimism" he has shown through his incredible fundraising.
"We will beat it together and come through it all the faster and the UK will emerge stronger than ever before," he promised
He could now be going straight to chairing the morning Covid-19 meeting that Dominic Raab has been taking in his absence.
The PM hasn't been seen since he made a video statement to the nation on April 12 after spending a week in hospital.
He called out Jenny McGee, 35, and Luis Pitarma, 29, watched over him for 48 hours in intensive care, giving him vital oxygen.
But he was also spotted taking a stroll with partner Carrie Symonds at Chequers, where he has been recovering from his illness.
Speaking this morning, Health Minister Edward Argar praised his stand in Mr Raab but revealed the PM was back at his best.
He told Sky News: “It's great to see him restored to full health and with his hands on the tiller again.
“What's in the PMs in-tray, you expect he'll have been fully briefed over the weekend.
“He and I exchanged messages yesterday, he was raring to be back, he was full of energy as you'd expect.
“I think he will be meeting this morning with senior ministers and senior advisers and being fully caught up on everything.”
Mr Johnson has spent a fortnight recovering from coronavirus after a bout that saw him sent to an intensive care ward for several days.
The PM, who was discharged from St Thomas' Hospital in Central London two weeks ago, is said to have spent the past week easing back into his workload.
He spoke with Donald Trump and had an audience over the phone with the Queen, too.
Since leaving hospital, he has been recovering at his country retreat with his pregnant fiancee Ms Symonds – also believed to have had the deadly bug.
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The lockdown is one of the biggest issues facing the PM on his return, with Tory backbenchers demanding more info on how and when it will end.
Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith said: “Everyone will be glad he’s back for personal as well as public reasons.
"He is the only one who has clear executive control and his return will be incredibly welcome."
Mr Raab has said the next steps will need to be "sure-footed, which is why we are proceeding very cautiously."
He warned that Brits will have to get used to a "new normal."
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