The Twitter reaction in the UK to Boris Johnson’s speech was one of complete and utter confusion
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.
Boris Johnson says the UK is establishing a new Covid alert level to track how the country is dealing with the virus. | Read more: https://www.rte.ie/news/2020/0510/1137504-uk-coronavirus/ pic.twitter.com/lrqB6T9ks6
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) May 10, 2020
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.
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.
Just watched Boris… pic.twitter.com/DqBhM2EgUI
— Laura Whitmore (@thewhitmore) May 10, 2020
So it appears people with underlying health issues , the elderly and people who are shielding are no longer a thing? Is this correct ?
As no mention of a plan or guidelines for them #BorisJohnson
— ???Linda ??? (@candylush) May 10, 2020
I’m confused, did #BorisJohnson say anywhere on that top quality graph when we can see family members again?! As much as it’s great to see cinemas may be opening in July I kinda wanna see my parents first.
— Jess Judd (@jessjuddxx) May 10, 2020
I’m confused, we can sit 2 metres apart from a stranger in a park but cant sit 2 metres away from family in their gardens?
— Katrina Torode (@KatrinaTorode) May 10, 2020
— realmattlucas (@RealMattLucas) May 10, 2020
So, the Prime Minister is urging millions of non-essential workers to go out to work – but also telling people we still can’t see family or friends even if we maintain the same social distancing rules as non-essential workers at work?
Makes no sense.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) May 10, 2020
Others were angered by the statement and by Johnson’s leadership with the hashtag #BorisHasFailed trending this morning.
I rarely comment on politics here, and avoid publicly siding with one party (all pretty useless at the moment) because no one should give a shit about celebs opinions. But it’s hard to imagine a greater display of inept leadership and muddled thinking then Boris just displayed.
— Jonathan Ross (@wossy) May 10, 2020
My wife sat on an international call last week with over 2000 people discussing COVID and it’s impact. The US situation was as expected, however all agreed the worst performing nation on earth was the UK #BorisHasFailed
— Seer ?? ?????? ?? ?????? ?? (@mitchmusic) May 10, 2020
Boris Johnson famously wrote two versions of his Telegraph column, one in favour of Brexit, one against. Now he offers two versions of what to do next on Brexit – in the SAME SPEECH. Confused? He is. On the most important health crisis in a century, he has failed to lead.
— Gavin Esler (@gavinesler) May 10, 2020
This is a disastrous speech.
Most people can’t work from home. This is a declaration that the lockdown in England is over, that millions will be returning to work.
— Tristan Gray (@tristangrayedi) May 10, 2020
While some thought Johnson was doing the best that he could.
Boris has an impossible task. People will never be happy with what he has to say & NO ONE knows the right thing to do.. this is an extremely volatile & unpredictable situation. I would not want to be in his position at a time like this.
— Lucy Watson (@imLucyWatson) May 10, 2020
Thought Boris Johnson’s speech was really quite good. “Control the virus” pertains to the new Risk Levels thing, unknown to 24 hours of piss taking. But basically, nothing has changed.
— Tom Peck (@tompeck) May 10, 2020
Read more: I left Dublin for Kerry at the start of the pandemic — and I’ve never been happier
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