Boris Johnson returns to Number 10 after recovering from Covid-19, facing pressure to ease lockdown restrictions

Yesterday evening, the prime minister returned to Downing Street facing questions of how an easing of lockdown measures would look.

Ministers have warned that social distancing must become “the new norm” as lockdown measures eventually ease off.

The government has indicated that as schools and businesses reopen, “further measures” would have to be implemented.

These include learning from key businesses such as shops and food outlets which have stayed open during lockdown, on how to manage social distancing, keeping staff and customers safe.

At time of writing, there are 152,840 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK.

4,463 new cases, with 20,732 deaths in total.

The government have also stated that quarantine restrictions be imposed at UK airports on all arrivals.

Deputising for Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab stated that it was ‘inconceivable’ that children could return to school without “further measures”.

He also said: “There are all sorts of precautions that businesses have taken;

“If you think that those are the measures that we’ve taken for essential businesses that haven’t shut down, you can see how in various different ways they could be expanded to non-essential businesses currently closed;

“We won’t just have this binary easing up of measures. We will end up moving to a new normal.”

The lockdown measures are due to be reviewed on the 7th May with some cabinet ministers keen to see some businesses reopen.

However, Raab has expressed caution over lifting lockdown measures too soon as there is a danger of a second wave of Covid-19.

“We’ve got to make sure of two things: first of all, we don’t risk a second spike, for all the reasons we’ve discussed.

“Secondly, that overall this package doesn’t allow the coronavirus to get back hold, to spread more widely and to undo all the progress we’ve made, or the sacrifices so many people have made.”

No details have been released as of yet by the government on how social distancing would work in schools.

However, it has been suggested by Nicola Sturgeon that social distancing measures as schools reopen could involve staggering attendance by year group.

“It would not be right or safe to open schools right now and that may continue to be the case for some time to come, but the point I think everybody is trying to get their heads round right now is that as we come out of these very restrictive measures we’re not going to be going back to normality as we knew it.”

Staggering attendances for students based on year groups and staggering factories opening based on need mirror the Chinese method of easing lockdown restrictions.