The Prime Minister has promised that England’s second national lockdown will “expire” on December 2nd.
In a recorded speech to the Federation of British Industries (CBI), Boris Johnson said the restrictions “will not last more than a month.
There has been speculation that the shutdown could be extended.
Johnson also apologized to corporations for the “nightmare” situation in Covid before Commons voted on the measures today (Nov. 4th).
He said, “I apologize to everyone who is experiencing the frustrations and nightmare of the Covid world.
“I know how difficult it has been for you and I am full of admiration for the determination you have shown to weather this crisis.
“I would like to thank you for the heroic efforts you have made to look after your employees, to make your premises Covid-proof, to install Plexiglas screens and for all the difficulties you have in complying with the dictations I use I never thought that we should have to impose something which I assure you is completely contrary to any free market instinct I have.
“And believe me, we will end these fall measures on December 2nd when they expire.”
But he said the lockdown, slated to begin Thursday, is necessary if England is to cut the rate of Covid-19 and ease the burden on the NHS.
Cabinet Minister Michael Gove had suggested on Sunday that the measures may be extended, but recent government statements have spoken out against the idea.
Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said in an interview on Tuesday that the deadline for lifting the four-week lockdown next month was “required by law”.
When asked on LBC radio whether the people of England could mark the date of the end of the second national lockdown on their calendars, Mr Raab said, “Write it down in your diary, it is required by law.
Mr Johnson was due to speak to the CBI on Monday but had to put off to ask questions in the House of Commons about the month-long measures.
In his speech, filmed on Downing Street, he praised companies that had campaigned to fight the coronavirus this year by switching their production lines to hand sanitizer gel, personal protective equipment and additional ventilators.
“Thanks to British technical innovation, we are now in a far better position than we were during the first wave,” said the Prime Minister, adding that “the prospect of a vaccine in the first quarter of next year is”. with British scientists at the head of the indictment.
He told the conference that it would be companies that would “drive our recovery” after the pandemic and vowed to “do whatever it takes” to help the industry weather the economic setbacks caused by coronavirus recover.
Citing a company in Wales that set up a trampoline center in a disused coal mine, Mr Johnson said, “No matter how deep the hole you are in, you can always jump back.
“And we’ll do that together.”