Boris Johnson returns to work: The five big decisions in his in-tray
27 April 2020, 07:48 | Updated: 27 April 2020, 07:52
Boris Johnson returns to work today, more than three weeks after he was taken to hospital with Covid-19. Here are the priorities the Prime Minister will have to focus on.
The PM was hospitalised on 5th April after contracting coronavirus and spent three nights in intensive care, where he admits it could have gone either way.
As he is back in Downing Street, these are the big decisions he is going to have to make.
1. When to end the lockdown
This is the big one. The UK has been under lockdown for over a month and the government say the measures will continue until at least 9th May. So far the government have not explained how or when the lockdown will be eased and there is a growing sense of frustration that there is no light at the end of the tunnel for the public.
So when will the lockdown be lifted? Which measures will be lifted first? These are the big questions he is going to have to answer.
2. Meeting the testing target
Health Secretary Matt Hancock pledged that the country would be testing 100,000 people per day by the end of April. That is on Thursday. Yesterday, 29,058 were carried out. That needs to more than triple in the next four days to meet that key target. How are they going to do it?
3. Should people wear facemasks?
Many countries around the world have insisted that anyone in public should wear facemasks to stop the spread of coronavirus to allow the lockdown to ease. Last week, Matt Hancock insisted the science on facemasks was "extremely weak", but with other nations making them mandatory, will the UK follow suit?
4. Getting the economy going again
With shops, restaurants and pubs closed, the economy has taken a huge hit and some commentators have warned the hit to the economy could be as serious to the population as the virus itself. So how can Mr Johnson get the economy moving again to avoid business going under and huge job losses?
Remember Brexit? The UK is still on course to leave the European Union at the end of 2020. The UK government has so far resisted all calls to extend the deadline due to the effect of Covid-19, but with talks progressing slower than expected, a no-deal Brexit which could damage the economy even further could be on the cards. Who will blink first?