UK govt will apply ‘maximum caution’ when lifting lockdown

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson

London, (Asian independent) UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that his government will use “maximum caution” when considering lifting the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

Johnson is due to announce plans to ease restrictions in the country on Sunday, which would come into force from Monday, reports Efe news.

A spokesman for the leader said he told his Ministers in a cabinet meeting: “We are not going to do anything that risks a second peak. We will advance with maximum caution in order to protect the NHS and to save lives.

“We will be guided at every step by the science and the data and we will closely track the impact of any easing of the social distancing measures and will not hesitate to tighten the rules if required.”

The government is due to re-evaluate the containment measures, which have been in place since March 23, and is likely to extend them for another three weeks.

There have been numerous reports in the British press speculating about how the restrictions might be relaxed.

Some media reports have said that Johnson could announce that some economic sectors will be allowed to resume their activity and citizens will be allowed to go out more than once a day for exercise.

Downing Street has acknowledged that the lockdown, in place to help slow the spread of infections, is having a big impact on the economy but that this effect could be even worse if there is another rise in infections.

The UK’s economy could shrink by 14 per cent this year, the worst recession on record, and unemployment levels could reach eight per cent, according to estimates by the Bank of England on Thursday.

It was also announced on Thursday that Notting Hill Carnival will be cancelled this year for the first time since it began in 1966.

The annual celebration in west London usually takes place at the end of August and is the biggest street festival in Europe with more than one million attendees.

The UK currently accounts for the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in Europe and second-highest in the world behind the US.

As of Friday, the number of COVID-19 cases in the country stood at 207,977, with 30,689 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University.