Criticized for the vagueness of his deconfinement strategy, the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, worked on Monday to detail a three-stage easing plan, without however removing all the ambiguities and warning that 'he would have “no hesitation” to go back if necessary.
At the time when several countries began to release the pressure, the head of government intervened on Sunday evening on television to extend until June 1 the confinement decreed at the end of March, with slight adjustments and prospects flexibility for the future.
Confused about how to return to work, endangering the most modest workers, considered premature by the Scottish authorities and the teachers' unions, denounced by the air sector for its quarantine plan for travelers … This plan immediately sparked fire, from unions to the conservative press.
After the publication by his government of a three-step plan detailed in about fifty pages, Boris Johnson explained himself for more than an hour on Monday to the deputies, then during the daily briefing of the government, without however removing all the unknowns.
“Our challenge is to find a way to move forward while preserving the hard-won gains, while reducing the burden of containment. I will be frank: it is an extremely difficult balance to find, “he admitted to Parliament. “If the data goes the wrong way […] we will have no hesitation in slowing down, delaying measures or reintroducing others, locally, regionally or nationally”.
Labor opposition leader Keir Starmer denounced in a tweet Monday the lack of “clarity” in the plan by Boris Johnson, which he says leaves many Britons with questions unanswered.
Hairdressers in July at the earliest
According to the government's plan for England, but criticized by other regions – Scotland in mind -, citizens will be able to walk, sunbathe or go to the beaches and to the beach from Wednesday nature. They will however have to stay away from each other and it is recommended that they wear masks in transport and shops.
If teleworking is always recommended, those who cannot work from home – especially in factories and construction sites – are however encouraged to go to work.
Quarantine is planned for travelers arriving from abroad, except Ireland and France, but no date has been given.
In a second step, from June 1 and in the event of progress in the fight against the pandemic, primary schools and certain businesses may reopen, the sports season restart in camera and each household will have the right to '' frequent another. Third stage from July 4: reopen pubs, hairdressers, places of worship and cinemas.
Scotland “not convinced”
Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already announced that these announcements do not apply to her region: “The Scottish government is not yet convinced that these changes can be made safely in Scotland without running the risk of seeing the virus potentially get out of control again. ”
“The disease has reached different stages in different parts of the country”, justified Monday evening Boris Johnson, believing that “it is a good thing that the decentralized administrations adopt different approaches to face the pandemic in their region. ”
“I hope, I hope, I hope for a vaccine” against the virus, he added during this daily press briefing, while the United Kingdom is now the second most bereaved to the world by the new coronavirus after the United States, with 32 065 died in hospitals and in retirement homes.
In education, the unions are standing up against the return of students in June. And there is great concern about the return of some to work on Wednesday for lack of clear instructions, especially since the low-skilled professions are the first concerned despite an already higher mortality, according to a study by the National Bureau of Statistics.
Taking the lead, the London transport authority, TfL, asked passengers on Monday to cover their faces, while working to increase the rate of services.