Boris Johnson warned today that the Covid-19 coronavirus is starting to “rise” again across Europe.
Write in The telegraph, The Prime Minister said: “We can see the signs of a surge in Covid in some of our European friends and we remember how we in the UK tended to follow that upward curve, albeit a few weeks later.”
And he admitted that children returning to school are likely to increase the risk of new infections.
“We know how quickly this disease can spread,” wrote the Prime Minister, “and that a successful return to school on Monday will inevitably increase the risk budget.”
Mr Johnson said it was not yet possible to “get back to normal” as infection rates in the UK were still “much higher than last summer”.
However, he said, “I share your desire to get back to normal” and admitted that he was under pressure to increase the pace of releasing England’s lockdown as new infections and deaths continue to fall.
“The vast majority of people – and businesses – would prefer us to take cautious but irreversible steps rather than going backwards.”
It comes after Nicola Sturgeon said she was stepping up easing restrictions in Scotland.
Not only is the government under pressure to ease the lockdown faster, but it’s also facing increasing scrutiny of its £ 37 billion testing and tracing system.
A bipartisan group of MPs said there is “no clear evidence” that the system has helped reduce coronavirus infection rates.
And Meg Hillier, the chairman of the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) behind a critical report, called on the government to justify the “amazing investment of taxpayers’ money.”