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Sunday, 17 May 2020

Back to normal 'by July'? PM tells Tory MPs he wants to return to 'near-normality' in two months as he hails British 'good sense' over lockdown

Boris Johnson tells Tory MPs he wants to return to 'near-normality' by July
Speaking to 100 of his colleagues via video link, the Prime Minister said he would take 'grandmother steps' to ease the rules, but only if Britons comply with the current lockdown measures. He also confirmed that Commons discussions will resume on June 2. 

Writing in today's Mail on Sunday, Boris Johnson (pictured left, during a televised address to the nation in which he unveiled his 'conditional plan' to reopen Britain) also announces that an Oxfordshire research centre will be opening a year ahead of schedule in an attempt to fast-track a vaccine against the coronavirus, the number of deaths from the virus per day in the UK). Mr Johnson's exclusive article will be seen as an attempt to draw a line under the chaotic days in Westminster which followed his televised address to the nation last Sunday, which left many people confused about the rules about meeting friends and family. 



Prime Minister clarifies today: 'You can now spend as much time as you like outdoors, for example sitting and enjoying the fresh air, picnicking, or sunbathing. You can meet one other person from a different household outdoors, provided you maintain social distancing. You can exercise outdoors as often as you wish and play sport. Even with these changes, it's vital that people stay alert, keep their distance from others and carry on washing their hands regularly'.

An MP listening in on the video call told The Sun: 'Boris told us he is determined that the country should be as close to normality again before the end of July.
'But he was clear that it all depends on the country meeting the conditions that have been set for tackling the virus.
'Most importantly that means bringing down the infection rate – and that can only be achieved if we continue to obey the rules on social distancing to help stop it spreading.' 
In other developments to the coronavirus crisis:
  • Britain announced 468 more coronavirus deaths on the first Saturday since lockdown was eased - taking the country's total fatalities to 34,466; 
  • Mr Johnson and the UK's top civil servant Sir Mark Sedwill are said to have clashed over who is responsible for implementing the Government's coronavirus plan;
  • A new Opinium survey showed public approval for the Government's handling of the crisis has fallen by nine points in a single week; 
  • Cafes, pubs and restaurants will be able to open as street stalls in weeks, in an attempt to boost the economy; 
  • Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) scientists are looking into new guidelines for how workers can cope with occasionally coming into contact with each other; 
  • Scuffles between police and anti-lockdown protestors broke out in Hyde Park and across the UK; 
  • The row between ministers and teachers' unions intensified after Children's Commissioner for England Anne Longfield said that schools had to be reopened as quickly as possible; 
  • Public Health England could face the axe after Boris Johnson told a meeting of 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs that he he was planning a review of 'a number of institutions' once coronavirus is beaten back; 
  • Experts from King's College London have suggested that one in three patients who fall severely ill with coronavirus develop deadly blood clots that trigger heart attacks, strokes and organ failure. 
  • China’s claims that the pandemic emerged from a wild animal market in Wuhan last December have been challenged by a landmark scientific study
The British government will invest up to £93million to accelerate the construction of a new vaccines centre, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said on Saturday.
The funding will ensure the new centre opens in Summer 2021, a year ahead of schedule, the department said.
The Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC), which is currently under construction, is a key component of the government's programme to ensure that once a coronavirus vaccine is available it can be rolled out quickly in mass quantities, the department said.
Mr Johnson's exclusive article will be seen as an attempt to draw a line under the chaotic days in Westminster which followed his televised address to the nation last Sunday, which left many people confused about the rules about meeting friends and family.
The Prime Minister clarifies today: 'You can now spend as much time as you like outdoors, for example sitting and enjoying the fresh air, picnicking, or sunbathing. You can meet one other person from a different household outdoors, provided you maintain social distancing. 

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