Johnson's speech on measures for England to lift lockdown stirs 'confusion'; internet reacts

Edited By: Bharat Sharma WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: May 11, 2020, 02.24 PM(IST)

Britain Prime Minister Boris Johnson Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Starting May 13, people in England will be able to visit parks, play sports, have access to sporting clubs and a lot more, but only if a two-metre distance is ensured between any two people

British Prime Minister addressed the nation to announce the strategy of easing coronavirus-induced lockdowns across the country. The country had recently crossed Italy’s death toll to become the second-most affected country after the United states.

As part of a transition from “Stay home” to “Stay alert”, the new measures are introduced to facilitate reopening places of social interaction as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to kill people, but has showed signs of slowing down in the country.

During his address, the Prime Minister explained relaxations of lockdown rules, but only applying to England. Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland had recently rejected his calls for easing the lockdown measures.

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While asking people to work from home, he added that workers in industries like construction and manufacturing should be able to return to work starting Monday. At the same time, he asserted the need to avoid public transport.

Starting May 13, people in England will be able to visit parks, play sports, have access to sporting clubs and a lot more, but only if a two-metre distance is ensured between any two people.

Shops that do not necessarily sell essential products will be able to reopen starting June 1, the PM signalled. Schools may also start to reopen around the same time.

Moving on to July, he added that restaurants, cinemas, and places of worship may be able to reopen then.

The announcement was viewed as somewhat confusing.

For starters, the workers received only a 12-hour notice to start returning to work. This, many feared, could trigger chaos.

Twitter reacts

Twitterati were quick to take the government’s case on the lack of clarity in the measures.

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One user made a comic strip to explain the situation.

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'Clarity and consensus'

The three-step plan of the government envisages to slowly reopen places as the number of infections decline in the country.

Kier Starmer, the leader of the Labour party said that “the nation was looking for… clarity and consensus”.

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“This statement raises more questions than it answers, and we see the prospect of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland pulling in different directions”, he further said.

“The prime minister appears to be effectively telling millions of people to go back to work without a clear plan for safety or clear guidance as to how to get there without using public transport”, he added.

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