British PM Boris Johnson admits public frustration with lockdown easing rules

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: May 17, 2020, 04.47 PM(IST)

Britain Prime Minister Boris Johnson Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

In a mail written to a London-based newspaper, Johnson wrote: "I understand that people will feel frustrated with some of the new rules."

British PM Boris Johnson on Sunday said that the government's 'new measures' to ease down lockdown has sparked massive public frustration. 

Also read: London protests: 19 arrested for deliberately breaking social distancing guidelines

In a mail written to a London-based newspaper, Johnson wrote: "I understand that people will feel frustrated with some of the new rules."

Ministers on Wednesday began easing down the lockdown in England. The citizens were encouraged to work from office if they can not manage working from home. The changes will not be applied to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, whose semi-autonomous governments have not eased the lockdown.

The criticism has been huge as according to Sunday's Observer poll has shown that 42 per cent of the crowd have shown disapproval of the government handling the COVID situation. 

"We are trying to do something that has never had to be done before -- moving the country out of a full lockdown, in a way which is safe and does not risk sacrificing all of your hard work," Johnson said in the Mail on Sunday.

"I recognise what we are now asking is more complex than simply staying at home -- but this is a complex problem and we need to trust in the good sense of the British people."

34,466 people have died of the virus in the United Kingdom, making it the highest tally in Europe. 

The coronavirus lockdown in the country has taken a massive toll on the economy as the last week showing it had shrunk by 5.8 per cent in March. The Bank of England has said economic activity could contract by nearly 25 per cent in the April-June period, leading to the largest annual decline in more than three centuries.

The government faces a major challenge to reopen the economy while avoiding a second wave of the infection. 

"We cannot have a situation where we keep our economy and our schools and our public services continually closed down, because the health consequences of doing so would be malign as well," Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove told BBC TV.

According to Johnson's mail: "If we all stick at it, then we'll be able, gradually, to get rid of the complexities and the restrictions and make it easier and simpler for families to meet again."

"But we must move slowly, and at the right time."

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