Lockdown speech Q&A - What will Boris Johnson say?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will give an update on the coronavirus lockdown at 7pm today (May 10).

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will give an update on the coronavirus lockdown at 7pm today (May 10). Picture: PA Wire - Credit: PA

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will address the nation on the coronavirus lockdown today (Sunday, May 10). But what can we expect from the PM’s update? Here are some of your questions answered.

Q. When will the speech be held and where can I watch it?

A. Mr Johnson’s address will take place at 7pm. It will be broadcast live on BBC1, ITV, Sky One and Channel 4.

Q. What will the Prime Minister say?

A. Don’t expect Mr Johnson to lift the lockdown in one grand swoop. Rather, he will outline a ‘roadmap’ to a new normality and give some details of how the lockdown will be gradually eased.

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Mr Johnson is planning to urge workers who cannot do their jobs from home to begin returning to their workplaces while following social-distancing rules.

Q. What immediate changes will there be?

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A. The incoming changes for England are only expected to be very modest, with a lifting the limit of only one form of exercise per day and to permit garden centres to reopen.

But in a toughening of measures, fines for those who fail to abide by the rules will be hiked.

Ministers are also planning to impose a 14-day quarantine on people arriving in the UK by plane from any country apart from the Republic of Ireland. Mr Johnson is also expected to unveil a coronavirus ‘warning system’.

Q. How will the warning system work?

A. The system will be administered by a new ‘joint biosecurity centre’ will detect local increases in infection rates, with the view to locally alter restrictions in England. Alerts will range from green in level one to red in level five. Mr Johnson is expected to say the nation is close to moving down from four to three.

Q. Is the lockdown slogan changing?

A. ‘Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives’ has been the core message of the lockdown so far - reminding people of the need for social distance and the deadly consequences of allowing the virus to spread and put added pressure on the health service.

But that key message is now changing to ‘stay alert, control the virus, save lives’. The new slogan has drawn derision from some quarters, with Communication Workers Union general secretary Dave Ward saying: “Stay alert? It’s a deadly virus not a zebra crossing.”

But the Bruges Group think tank praised the new message, stating: “Stay Alert replaces Stay Home and underlines individual responsibility. ‘Control the Virus’ is a positive message. It’s within our power to achieve.”

Q. What’s the idea behind the new slogan?

A. The shift in messaging will come amid concerns that workers may not feel comfortable resuming their roles after the weeks of being told to stay home as the government wants to gradually get the economy moving again.

But this could prove challenging for ministers, with unions warning that they might not recommend their millions-strong membership to resume their roles if safety is not assured.

Q. When can we expect more details of how the lockdown will be eased?

A. On Monday, the Government will publish a 50-page document outlining the full plan to cautiously re-start the economy.

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