The prime minister may be in isolation with coronavirus, but he tried to rally the country on Sunday night in his latest message to the nation. It came after two days in which the UK death toll jumped significantly to 1,228, including two NHS doctors.
Citing the 20,000 former NHS staff who have returned to work and the 750,000 members of the public who have volunteered to help the most vulnerable, a croaky-sounding Boris Johnson said it was proof his Conservative predecessor Margaret Thatcher was wrong when she famously declared “there is no such thing as society”. The PM also said the majority of people appeared to be obeying social distancing restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the virus, despite some eye-catching exceptions.
Earlier, England’s deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries warned it could be six months before life in the UK returned to normal – although she stressed that didn’t mean “complete lockdown” for all that time. Instead, restrictions will most likely be eased gradually over the next three to six months. Lifting restrictions too early could be dangerous, she added.