Boris Johnson has suggested that the UK-wide lockdown measures will be relaxed on Monday, as he attended his first prime minister’s questions since being diagnosed with coronavirus in late March.
Mr Johnson said he would reveal plans for an “unlockdown” in a televised statement on Sunday, following a review of the current measures on Thursday.
Any relaxation of lockdown measures is likely to be minimal, with changes expected to include an easing of rules around outdoor exercise.
New Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer focused on the news that UK’s death toll had surpassed Italy’s to become the highest in Europe.
Almost 30,000 people have died from the virus in the UK, according to the Department of Health.
“How on earth did it come to this?”, asked Starmer.
Mr Johnson called the official statistics “appalling”, but said there was insufficient data to draw international comparisons.
“There will be a time to look at what decisions we took and whether we could have taken different decisions,” he added.
Mr Johnson also expressed regret at the outbreak of coronavirus in care homes.
Care homes across the UK have been plagued in recent weeks by reports of inadequate supplies of testing for staff and residents, as well as a shortage of personal protective equipment.
“There is an epidemic going on in care homes,” Mr Johnson said, “which is something I bitterly regret, and we have been working very hard for weeks to get it down and a huge amount of effort has been gone into by literally tens of thousands of people to get the right PPE into care homes.”
He told MPs that the government’s new “ambition” was to reach 200,000 tests every day by the end of May, after critics said it had changed the rules to meet its 100,000 daily tests target at the end of April.
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