Some Coronavirus lockdown rules could be made even STRICTER as Boris Johnson prepares plan for ‘phase two’ of crisis


Boris Johnson said this morning more on changing lockdown rules will be revealed in the “coming days” – even though the official review isn’t due until May 7.

Boris Johnson has said now isn’t the time to ease the lockdown measures
Officials have repetedly said they would toughen measures if they needed to

However, he repeatedly stressed that now isn’t the time to stop social distancing measures.

In a rallying cry from outside No.10, the PM warned the nation he would “refuse” to risk a second wave of cases by lifting restrictions too soon, as he came back to work for the first time since his own battle with the virus.

He said Britain was coming to the end of the first stage and would soon look to the second for how to live with the virus.

Once the NHS is sufficiently protected, case numbers fall, and PPE is secured, “then that will be the time to move on to the second phase”.

In it Britain will “continue to suppress the disease… but begin gradually to refine the economic and social restrictions”.

No10 said this lunchtime, however, that could see measures eased and others tightened.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “There could be easing in some areas.

“There could also be a toughening in other areas.

“We will not be returning immediately to life as we knew it.

“People will have to acclimatise themselves to a new normal.”

On Friday, the Welsh government announced tougher measures to stop non-essential trips.

Over the weekend it was reported that passengers arriving at British airports will face two weeks in quarantine under the Government’s latest plans to stop the spread of coronavirus.
The restrictions, which could be imposed as early as next month, are aimed at preventing a second wave of infections as other countries end lockdowns and allow travel again.

They will come into forced when the government launches its “track and trace” strategy to identify and isolate cases of the virus in the UK.

In addition, Government insiders admitted last week they could ask the public to wear face masks when going out, to stop people spreading it further.

Advisers to ministers showed evidence that masks could help stop some of the spread among people who don’t show any symptoms.

Boris said this morning in an address to the nation, that plans had been underway for weeks about this next stage.

But we can only move into that phase once five key tests are met – protecting the NHS, delivering enough PPE, a consistent fall in cases, and making sure that there will be no dangerous second peak.

Previously ministers have hinted they could crack down on outdoor exercise if people were breaking the rules.

And over the Easter bank holiday weekend Brits were told they shouldn’t go out sunbathing or risk more punishing measures.

However, none of the threats have turned into actions  – and the lockdown rules are the same as they were when the PM announced them on March 23.

Most people are complying with social distancing measures and orders to stay at home, the Government has said.

Ministers are urging people to “stick with it” as we are at a critical moment to try and curb the outbreak.

In other areas, officials are looking at what measures could be relaxed in future – and how.

Nicola Sturgeon suggested Scots could soon be allowed to meet a small “bubble” of friends or family.

And Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster said less-affected areas should be allowed to end restrictions sooner.

It’s expected that ministers will lay out some of the options to the public in the coming days and weeks.

No10 also said today that the PM will be seeking to meet with Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer on cross party work this week.

He hopes that Labour and other opposition parties can be part of discussions on how to move forward to managing the virus.

The PM is now back at work full time after two weeks recovering at Chequers.

He stayed for a week in hospital battling Covid-19, and several nights in intensive care.