UK PM says will set out details on easing lockdown on Sunday


(Photo: CGTN)

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed on Wednesday that he will set out how the country will ease its lockdown on Sunday.

"The reason for that is very simply that we have to be sure that the data is going to support our ability to do this, but that data is coming in continuously over the next few days. We'll want, if we possibly can, to get going with some of these measures on Monday."

The country will face economic disaster if it eased lockdown in a way triggering a second spike in virus, said Johnson.
Johnson took questions on Wednesday in parliament for the first time since returning to work after recovering from COVID-19.
The country has registered over 196,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with over 29,000 deaths, according to latest data from the Johns Hopkins University.

The Times reported the government has drawn up a three-stage plan to ease the lockdown, with the first stage involving the reopening of small shops alongside outdoor workplaces. 
Large shopping centers will open in the second phase, with more people encouraged to go to work, while pubs, restaurants, hotels and leisure centers will be among the last to open, it said. 

Johnson said the situation in care homes had improved, hours after his health minister denied Britain had prioritized hospitals over many elderly people in its fight against the coronavirus outbreak. 
A Reuters investigation found policies designed to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed pushed a greater burden onto care homes which struggled to get access to tests and protective equipment. 

Asked about the situation in care homes by opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer, Johnson told the parliament, "He is absolutely right to say there is an epidemic going on in care homes which is something I bitterly regret, and we have been working very hard for weeks to get it down."

"He is not right in what he just said about the state of the epidemic in care homes. If he looks at the figures in the last few days there has been a palpable improvement. We must hope that that continues and we will ensure that it does continue."
The United Kingdom overtook Italy to report the highest official death toll from the new coronavirus in Europe, according to figures released on Tuesday. 
The Office for National Statistics also said the number of deaths from all causes registered in care homes in the week ending April 24 was three times higher than a month previously.