Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Science & Tech
  2. Coronavirus
27 April 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Johnson: Easing lockdown now would risk second peak

By Samuel Horti

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said easing the coronavirus lockdown too early would “throw away the sacrifice of the British people” and risk a second peak of the virus.

In his first address since returning to Downing Street following his coronavirus infection, Johnson could not say when restrictions would be lifted, or “how fast or slow” the government would act when it did start easing lockdown. But such decisions would be made with “maximum possible transparency”, he added.

He said he sympathised with business leaders concerned about the long-term damage of the lockdown on the UK economy, “but we must also recognise the risk of a second spike”. Now was a moment of “maximum risk”, he said.

“Clearly the government will be saying much more about this in the coming days,” he said. “I ask you to contain your impatience because I believe now we are coming to the end of the first phase of this conflict.”

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
Is your business ready for corporate climate reporting?
How do we secure the hybrid office?
How materials innovation can help achieve net zero and level-up the UK