Boris Johnson accepts ‘frustration’ over lockdown rules

Boris Johnson accepts 'frustration' over lockdown rules
Boris Johnson said he accepts there has been frustration at changes to lockdown restrictions. Source: AFP
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Daily US Times: The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has acknowledged frustration over the “complex” easing measures of England’s coronavirus lockdown.

On Sunday, he wrote in the Mail that more complicated messages were needed during the next phase of the response and as restrictions changed.

But Mr Johnson said he trusted the “good sense of the British people” to observe the new rules and thanked the public for “sticking with us” so far.

It came as the government announced up to £93m to speed-up a new vaccine research lab.

The government said the new fund will accelerate construction of the not-for-profit Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre in Oxfordshire so it can open a year earlier than planned.

Ministers hope the centre will be a “key component” of the UK’s attempt to find coronavirus vaccine.

“Once a breakthrough is made, we need to be ready to manufacture a vaccine by the millions,” Business Secretary Alok Sharma told.

The British Prime Minister cautioned that, while the UK is “leading the global effort” to find a jab, “a vaccine might not come to fruition”.

Mr Johnson said in his article that changes to lockdown restrictions in England – such as unlimited exercise outdoors – were possible due to the public’s “good common sense”.

In a reference to criticism and confusion over the government’s new message urging people to “stay alert”, Boris Johnson said the government was attempting something that has “never had to be done before”.

The government changed its slogan from “stay at home” to “stay alert” in England on 10 May. The stay home message remains the same in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, which have their own powers over restrictions.

Acknowledging the people’s frustration, PM wrote: “I understand people will feel frustrated with some of the new rules. “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.”

“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.”

The PM’s article came as the UK government sought to reassure parents in England it will be safe to send their children back to school next month.

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