Boris Johnson threatens more local lockdowns if people don’t follow the rules as pubs re-open for ‘Super Saturday’
The Prime Minister urged people to enjoy pubs 'safely' when they reopen (Sky News)
Boris Johnson has told Brits to “enjoy summer safely” as he threatened to put more parts of the country back into lockdown if they don’t follow the rules as pubs start to re-open.
The Prime Minister said he would “not hesitate in putting on the brakes” and bring back stricter social distancing rules ahead of so-called ‘Super Saturday’.
Speaking at a Downing Street press briefing, he warned the public the spike in coronavirus infection in Leicester proved "we are not out of the woods yet”.
As the East Midlands city faces its hospitality sector staying shut for another two weeks, Mr Johnson said anyone who flouts social distancing “is not only putting us all at risk but letting down those businesses and workers who have done so much to prepare for this new normal”.
From July 4 the biggest relaxation in the Covid-19 lockdown rules comes into force in England, amid fears it could lead to a “second wave” of infection.
Mr Johnson said: "Lockdown only succeeded in controlling the virus because everyone worked together, and we will only succeed in reopening if everyone works together again.
“Because we are not out of the woods yet.
“The virus is still with us and the spike in Leicester has shown that.
“If it starts running out of control again this Government will not hesitate in putting on the brakes and re-imposing restrictions.”
He added: "Let’s all stay alert, control the virus, save lives – and enjoy summer safely.”
And the PM warned local lockdowns are “to be expected” and will be “a feature of our lives for some time to come”.
“If the previous measures have not proven to be enough, we will introduce local lockdowns extending across whole communities," Mr Johnson said.
“As in Leicester, that could mean shutting businesses venues that would otherwise be open, closing schools or urging people once more to stay at home.
“Local lockdowns will be carefully calibrated depending on the scientific and specific circumstances of each outbreak and we are continually exploring smarter means of containing the virus.”
Speaking about pubs, which have been given the go-ahead to reopen from 6am on Saturday, Mr Johnson said: “My urgings to everybody can be summed up in the phrase enjoy summer safely.
“I do want people to feel that it's safe to go and enjoy themselves, to enjoy hospitality — but it's got to be done in a responsible way.”
And, asked about what plans are in place to deal with another round of coronavirus, the PM replied: “A huge amount of work has been devoted to the possibility of a second wave ever since the disease arrived in this country, indeed, before.
“Because our anxiety about the second wave has been very much at the forefront of our minds.
“We will obviously keep all sorts of measures in reserve. The local lockdown that I talked about, the regional lockdowns.
“A national lockdown, of course, has to be, as it were, the response of the ultimate resort.
“We really don't want to do that again, so we will also be looking at other ways in which we can respond to the possibility of a second wave that reflect particular vulnerabilities of particular groups, and the prevalence of the second wave in certain areas.”
Speaking alongside him, the chief medical officer Chris Whitty said: “A second wave is something which everybody, I think realises, is a possibility.
"And in fact we're beginning to see the possibility of some second waves elsewhere in the world and this possibility will exist with us for a very long time.
“So we have to prepare for that, and there's a lot of preparations going on. Clearly the best thing to do is to try and make that as unlikely as possible.”