How the British public is reacting to Boris Johnson's 'ridiculous' new lockdown guidelines

How the British public is reacting to Boris Johnson's 'ridiculous' new lockdown guidelines

Last night Boris Johnson addressed the nation in a highly anticipated daily briefing.

After changing the lockdown slogan to the widely-ridiculed "stay alert", Johnson gave a speech which people were expecting would shed some light on when and how we can expect lockdown to be lifted.

In fact, he basically said very little is likely to change any time soon.

Small modifications to lockdown rules mean people will be able to spend more ("even unlimited!") time outside and people who cannot work from home will be "encouraged" to go back to work (although ideally not via public transport and with a lot of modifications to stick to social distancing where possible).

Johnson also announced that schools would begin to re-open on 1 June, although Dominic Raab has today announced that hairdressers and restaurants, for example, won't be allowed to open until July at the "earliest".

The whole thing was a bit of an anticlimax for most people, who were expecting some clarity on when things may begin to go back to normal.

People had a lot of thoughts.

Lots expressed frustration at the vague nature of his comments compared to other countries' clear plans.

Others wondered why lockdown measures being lifted at all, considering the UK may not have met the five targets set out by the government in order to ease lockdown measures (making sure the NHS can cope, a 'sustained and consistent' fall in the daily death rate, lowering the rate of transmission, ensuring testing and PPE are available, and ensuring easing measures wouldn't lead to a second peak in cases).

Many were confused about why going to work is allowed, but visiting friends and family isn't.

Piers Morgan, the unlikely voice of reason throughout the whole pandemic, had a lot to say:

Johnson's "back to work" guidelines in particular caused outrage, especially given that he singled out construction and manufacturing workers, with many pointing out that these are jobs typically held by the least privileged, and they are the ones being asked to take the risk of returning to their jobs in order to benefit the economy.

Many pointed out how difficult it would be to stick to the guidelines Johnson suggested while going back to work.

All in all, people were just baffled by the lack of substance in the whole thing.

Here's hoping something a bit more thought out comes from the next government briefing.

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