Boris Johnson warns ‘things will get worse before they get better’ and threatens tougher coronavirus lockdown measures – The Sun
BORIS Johnson has written to 28 million British households, warning things will "get better before they get worse".
In his letter, to be sent out this week, he says he "will not hesitate to go further" if tougher lockdown measures are needed.
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It comes after 1,019 more coronavirus deaths were announced in the UK yesterday – the biggest 24 hour surge the nation has seen so far.
In his letter, Boris Johnson writes: “It’s important for me to level with you — we know things will get worse before they get better.
“But we are making the right preparations and the more we all follow the rules, the fewer lives will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal.”
He also warns that further lockdown measures could be enforced if needed.
He writes: “From the start, we have sought to put in the right measures at the right time.
'WE WILL NOT HESITATE'
"We will not hesitate to go further if that is what the scientific and medical advice tells us we must do.”
The PM makes clear that the stay-at-home rule must be obeyed — pointing out that anybody who breaks it will face a fine.
It could mean mirroring the strict lockdown measures put in place by countries across Europe, including Spain and Italy where exercise is banned altogether.
And this week, France announced people could only exercise alone – unless with children – for a maximum of one hour within 1,000 yards of their homes.
It is clear however, that Mr Johnson — who has been in total isolation since testing positive for Covid-19 on Friday — is desperate to raise the nation’s spirits as we enter the second week in lockdown.
The PM wrote the deeply personal message himself while in solitary isolation, suffering “mild symptoms” of the virus.
'FOOD ON THE TABLE'
His letter adds: “I know many of you will be deeply worried about the financial impact on you and your family.
“The Government will do whatever it takes to help you make ends meet and put food on the table.”
In a bid to unite the nation, Mr Johnson will also praise the “truly inspirational” work of our NHS heroes — who were applauded by millions in a moving tribute last week.
He wants to harness that “great British spirit” to help his government and the public beat the killer virus together.
It is the first time in decades that a PM has written to every household to seek their help in defeating a common enemy.
His letter, which goes out Monday, will say: “In just a few weeks, everyday life in this country has changed dramatically.
“We all feel the profound impact of coronavirus not just on ourselves, but on our loved ones and our communities.
“I understand completely the difficulties this disruption has caused to your lives, businesses and jobs.
“But the action we have taken is absolutely necessary, for one very simple reason. If too many people become seriously unwell at one time, the NHS will be unable to cope. This will cost lives.
“We must slow the spread of the disease, and reduce the number of people needing hospital treatment in order to save as many lives as possible. This is why we are giving one simple instruction — you must stay at home.”
The PM says it is vital that nobody cheats by meeting friends or relatives who do not live under the same roof.
He repeats the only reason to venture outdoors must be to buy food, take exercise once a day or seek medical attention.
Only key workers will be allowed to travel to their jobs — everyone else must stay at home.
And on the rare occasion anybody leaves the home, they must stay at least two metres — about seven foot — from other people.
He closes the letter by praising the “fantastic” staff in the NHS and care sector.
'WE WILL BEAT IT TOGETHER'
He says: “It has been truly inspirational to see our doctors, nurses and other carers rise magnificently to the needs of the hour.”
Mr Johnson also acknowledges the retired doctors and nurses and 739,000 volunteers who have joined the national effort to protect the most vulnerable.
He concludes: “It is with that great British spirit that we will beat coronavirus and we will beat it together. That is why, at this moment of national emergency, I urge you, please to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”
Prof Stephen Powis, of NHS England, today admitted it would be a “good result” if deaths in the UK were kept below 20,000.
He said “every death is absolutely a tragedy”, and that the toll can only be kept down if we continue to follow social distancing measures to stop the virus’s spread.
Prof Powis said getting protective kit to healthcare staff was “an absolute priority”.
He spoke at a press conference chaired by Business Secretary Alok Sharma as Mr Johnson remains quarantined alone in his flat above No11 Downing Street.
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Last night, Downing Street insisted Mr Johnson was still in total command of the Government’s effort in battling the disease.
He chaired the latest meeting of top officials remotely from his study.
The PM was said to be in good spirits and has been taking hot drinks and soothing medicine.
Kitchen staff are preparing him food which is being left outside the door to his study or private apartment.
A source said: “The PM believes he owes it to every one of us to explain directly why these tough measures are required. He is also keen to thank them for their efforts.
“It’s important to let people know how serious this pandemic is but also to give everyone a little hope that it won’t be forever and they will get all the support they need.”
Today it emerged that a footman who walked the Queen’s dogs has tested positive.
The aide had regular contact with Her Majesty, 93, raising fresh fears about her health.
A doctor today tells The Sun on Sunday she has penned a “just in case” letter to her husband and kids before going to work on the front line treating virus-hit patients.
Meanwhile, soldiers are racing to convert London’s ExCel centre into a 4,000-bed hospital to cope with the expected surge in cases, now at 17,089.
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