It is early to lift lockdown, UK PM Boris Johnson says

It is early to lift lockdown, UK PM Boris Johnson says

It is early to lift lockdown, UK PM Boris Johnson says

But with only a few slips into his more familiar pre-pandemic tone, branding the virus "an invisible mugger" the country was trying to wrestle to the ground, this was a serious statement from the prime minister, in exceptional times, to explain to the public Downing Street's thinking, but a speech largely created to hold the line.

Boris Johnson sent a message out after he has been discharged from hospital.

Mr. Johnson has meanwhile kept in contact with his ministers and officials and held his weekly audience by telephone with Queen Elizabeth II last week.

Sunday's figures also showed another 4,463 people had tested positive for the virus, bringing the total to nearly 153,000.

Johnson was due to chair the government's daily Covid-19 emergency response meeting on Monday, but Argar added that it was still too early to lift the lockdown.

On Monday, Johnson made little comment on his own isolation, his illness, his nights in the intensive care unit or his weeks of recovery, except to compare the coronavirus to a mugger.

"I want to serve notice now that these decisions will be taken with the maximum possible transparency and I want to share all our working and our thinking, my thinking, with you the British people".

Labour leader Starmer said in his open letter to Johnson that the government was falling behind the rest of the world by refusing to say more.

"As we move to a new phase at some point in the future - we are not there yet - worldwide travel could become a more significant part of the risk to manage", he said.

More than 1.5 million Britons have applied for welfare benefits in the past month, and the government's economic watchdog says the economy could shrink by 35 percent by June 1.

Johnson said he understood the "impatience and anxiety" among business-owners about easing restrictions, given the economic damage being caused by the lockdown.

"I'm sorry I've been away from my desk for much longer than I would have liked", Johnson said in a statement outside his Downing Street office on Monday.

Outlining the latest data on deaths, he said: "My fear is that those curves won't continue to be on a downward trend, but will start to go on an upward trend".

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Mr Johnson is resuming full-time duties at the head of the government three weeks after he was hospitalised with the disease. At the end of the month, Johnson and his 32-year-old partner Carrie Symonds announced their engagement and said they are expecting a baby in early summer.

Since the lockdown was imposed on March 23, his government has faced criticism from opposition parties and some doctors for the United Kingdom's limited testing capabilities and the lack protective equipment for some frontline health workers.

He hasn't been seen in public since posting a video on Twitter on 12 April in which he thanked staff at St Thomas' Hospital in London for saving his life.

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