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Image / Editorial

The Twitter reaction in the UK to Boris Johnson’s speech was one of complete and utter confusion

by Edaein OConnell
11th May 2020

Yesterday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined plans to ease lockdown restrictions in the UK. However, his speech left the public confused

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined plans to ease Covid-19 restrictions in the UK in a pre-recorded televised address yesterday.

Johnson said schools and non-essential shops will remain shut in England until June at least, as the infection rate of coronavirus is currently too high. However, he said people who cannot currently work from home are “actively encouraged” to return to work today, but he urged them to avoid public transport. He also said citizens can now exercise for unlimited periods, making a change from the once a day rule that was introduced at the beginning of the lockdown.

The prime minister believes the country may be in a position to gradually reopen shops by June 1, while adding he hopes that some parts of the hospitality industry would be up and running “at the earliest by July.” A two-week quarantine for air passengers arriving into the UK will also be implemented.

The announcement serves as “the first sketch of a road map” to the easing of restrictions, with a new alert system in place to determine when other parts of economic and social life can restart.


These plans do not apply to Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, as these jurisdictions have the power to make their own decisions on matters such as health.

“Stay Home” was the powerful messaging used by the English government in recent weeks, but this has now been changed to “Stay Alert.” Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned this could be “catastrophic”, with Scotland keeping the original messaging as they continue to fight Covid-19.

Latest figures show there are currently over 219,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom and over 31,000 deaths in the country since the outbreak began. Yesterday alone saw nearly 4,000 new cases being diagnosed with a further 268 fatalities.

Twitter reaction

The social media reaction to the announcement in the UK was one of unmitigated confusion. Many felt the prime minister was vague and failed to clearly outline rules for citizens to follow.






Others were angered by the statement and by Johnson’s leadership with the hashtag #BorisHasFailed trending this morning.



While some thought Johnson was doing the best that he could.


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