Boris Johnson warns UK of 'bumpy' lead up to Christmas

Prime Minister tells public to 'act fearlessly but with common sense' as coronavirus cases surge

epa08719294 A handout photo made available by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) shows Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson appearing at the Andrew Marr show in the BBC studios in London, Britain, 04 October 2020.  EPA/JEFF OVERS/BBC HANDOUT  ATTENTION EDITORS: PICTURE TAKEN THROUGH GLASS HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES
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The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has warned that the coronavirus crisis will be "bumpy through to Christmas" as the UK faces a growing second wave of infections.

Mr Johnson, speaking before the Conservative Party conference, said his government was taking a “balanced” approach between saving lives and protecting the economy.

He told the BBC there was "hope" in beating Covid-19, but called on the public to "act fearlessly but with common sense".

Britain has experienced a record week in coronavirus with more than 47,000 infections in the past seven days.

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I know people are furious, and they are furious with me and furious with the government

Large parts of the country are in lockdown and Britain is struggling to get the economy back on its feet.

But Mr Johnson told Andrew Marr's show he rejected the idea that Britain would be stuck in rolling lockdowns for years.

“I know people are furious, and they are furious with me and furious with the government," he said.

"But I’ve got to tell you in all candour, it’s going to continue to be bumpy through to Christmas, it may even be bumpy beyond. But this is the only way to do it.”

He insisted that by next spring the outlook would be very different but hinted that some local lockdown measures would continue into 2021.

Mr Johnson said he believed over the “next few weeks and months” the “scientific equation would change whether that is vaccines or testing” and there will be progress in beating the virus.

“The best thing we can do now for all those who have suffered in the course of this pandemic is bring it to an end in the speediest possible way," he said.

The Labour party’s shadow health minister, Alex Norris, criticised the interview as a “wasted opportunity” to set out a "serious strategy to improve public confidence in the government's handling of this crisis".

"Instead, he waffled and ducked every question," Mr Norris said. "His serial incompetence is holding Britain back.”

Mr Johnson also stood by the Eat Out to Help Out restaurant discount scheme introduced in August, which some have claimed contributed to the recent surges.

 

“In so far as that scheme may have helped to spread the virus then obviously we need to counteract that, and we need to counteract that with the discipline and the measures that we're proposing,” he said.

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