British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will come under immediate pressure to set out a plan to ease the coronavirus lockdown when he returns to work tomorrow after a three-week interruption due to a serious case of COVID-19.
Johnson, who spent a week in hospital in early April including three nights in intensive care, is “raring to go” as he prepares to return from his country residence to his Downing Street office in London, a source there said on Sunday.
In his absence, the government has faced growing criticism over complaints from staff in hospitals and care homes that they have received insufficient supplies of protective kit, and over levels of coronavirus testing that are well below its target.
The number of deaths related to COVID-19 in hospitals across the United Kingdom has risen above 20,000, the latest data showed, with the overall figure likely to be significantly higher once deaths in care homes and hospices are tallied.
But with signs of economic calamity and public frustration at strict social distancing measures piling up, the government is facing growing calls to start explaining how it intends to ease the lockdown.
So far, ministers have refused to give any indication on their thinking to the public, arguing that for now everyone needed to remain focused on the core message which was to stay at home except for essential travel.