Boris Johnson has told the nation he is “absolutely confident that we can send coronavirus packing in this country” and the tide can be turned within the next 12 weeks.
The prime minister urged members of the public to heed the advice to keep up social distancing and stay at home if ill or if somebody in their household is ill as he said: “I know it’s tough, I know it’s difficult… but please, please follow the advice.”
He thanked everyone for the “huge efforts that the country is making” and urged businesses to stand by their employees, with further announcements due from chancellor Rishi Sunak on Friday.
But he stressed that “nothing is ruled out”, suggesting tougher restrictions on movement could be introduced if people failed to comply with advice.
“I’m conscious as the days have gone by that people will want to know how long we’re expecting them to keep it up,” he told reporters at his daily press conference in Downing Street.
“I think, looking at it all, that we can turn the tide within the next 12 weeks and I’m absolutely confident that we can send coronavirus packing in this country.
“But only if we all take the steps that we’ve outlined, that is vital, that’s how we’re going to reduce the peak and once we’ve achieved that and I think that we will, if we take the steps I’ve said, then the scientific progress that we’ve been making will really start coming into play.”
It comes as the Queen issued a message to the nation which says the UK is “entering a period of great concern and uncertainty”, adding that “our nation’s history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one”.
Meanwhile, the death toll in Italy rose to 3,405, overtaking the total number of deaths so far registered in China.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?