The UK is now past the peak of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said, as he announced that he will unveil a plan for restarting the economy next week.
The “comprehensive plan” will lay out measures that “continue to suppress the disease, and at the same time restart the economy”, he said. The plan would lay out how the government intends to get children back to school, and how people will be able to get back to work. This would include measures to make both workplaces and public transport safer, he said.
He again stressed the danger of a second peak, and reiterated the government’s five tests that the UK must pass before any current restrictions are lifted. He also discussed the importance of keeping the ‘R’ value – the number of people someone with coronavirus goes on to infect – below one.
He declared that the first phase of the UK’s response to the pandemic had been a “success”, and that the country had “avoided the tragedy that engulfed other parts of the world”. This is despite the UK having the third highest coronavirus death toll of any country.
He also revealed that the number of tests carried out in the UK had jumped to more than 81,000, from 52,000 the previous day, suggesting the government may well reach its target of 100,000 daily tests before the end of the month.