We’ve passed the peak of the coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister says.
To clarify before we get into this: lockdown rules remain unchanged for now, the situation is still serious, and there’s no firm end in sight at the present moment. However, there is a long-awaited glimmer of hope on the horizon, as the UK government plans to unveil an exit strategy for the lockdown next week.
Announcing the move in the daily government briefing, Boris Johnson told viewers that “for the first time we are past the peak of this disease and on the downward slope”. With scientific evidence proving that social distancing is working and the rate of infection is slowing, the Prime Minister then revealed that the government is gearing up to release a “comprehensive plan” that will outline how to revitalise the UK economy, get children back to school, and allow us to return to work.
The news came with the familiar refrain that the government would be “guided by the science”, in order to avoid the risk of inviting a second peak in the virus’ outbreak. Indeed, the UK government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance stressed the need to “stick with what we’re doing” in order to keep the rate of infection at a manageable level.
In response to a question from a member of the public, Johnson hinted at “a menu of options” for exiting lockdown, with the increasing amounts of data available to the government likely to inform which options are chosen. Further details are expected to emerge in the next few days – including a firm date for this exit strategy to be published – but for now, it’s a bit of good news that perhaps life might return to something approaching normality in the not-too-distant future.
We’ll keep you updated with more information as we have it.