‘Don’t let everyone down’: Boris Johnson pleads with Britons to be ‘sensible’ when pubs reopen on ‘Super Saturday’ with police braced for chaos and fears of coronavirus case surge
- Boris Johnson has appealed for the public to show restraint on ‘Super Saturday’
- Lockdown easing in England from tomorrow with pubs set to open once more
- The PM said people should ‘enjoy summer sensibly’ and amid fears of chaos
Boris Johnson today pleaded with Britons to be ‘sensible’ when pubs reopen on ‘Super Saturday’ as police brace for chaos.
The PM said he wanted people to use the loosening of lockdown in England from tomorrow to ‘enjoy summer’.
But he insists that the success of the move is down to whether people act ‘responsibly’, urging the public not to ‘let down’ the sectors of the economy that desperately need to reopen safely.
Mr Johnson made the appeal in an LBC radio phone in this morning, and will take a Downing Street press conference later ahead of the easing.
He will warn that the Government could ‘put on the brakes’ and bring back severe restrictions if there is a surge in cases, as has been witnessed in Leicester.
Speaking in a phone-in on LBC radio this morning, Boris Johnson said he wanted people to use the loosening of lockdown in England from tomorrow to ‘enjoy summer’
Punters are pictured out drinking by Wandsworth Common in London at The Althorpe pub serving take away beers
The draconian restrictions imposed on March 23 curbed Covid-19’s spread by drastically reducing the people’s contacts, but the relaxation in England is set to be a key test of the progress.
Mr Johnson said there was a need to proceed ‘carefully and cautiously’.
‘Tomorrow we come to step three of the plan that I set out on May 10, that everybody, I think, has understood, or huge numbers of people have understood and followed very carefully and very closely,’ he told LBC.
‘And it’s because people stuck to that plan that we’re now able to carefully and cautiously open up hospitality tomorrow.
‘And my message is really for people to enjoy summer sensibly and make sure that it all works.’
Mr Johnson will paint the easing as a means of supporting the livelihoods of bosses and their employees but warn ‘we are not out of the woods yet’.
‘They are our local restaurants, hairdressers, libraries, museums, cinemas, and yes, pubs. They are also hotels, B&Bs, indeed much of our tourism industry,’ he will say, according to an extract released to the media ahead of the speech.
‘All these businesses and their workers have put in a heroic effort to prepare their venues for this reopening, to work out a way to trade in a way that keeps their customers safe.
‘But the success of these businesses, the livelihoods of those who rely on them, and ultimately the economic health of the whole country is dependent on every single one of us acting responsibly. We must not let them down.
A member of staff at The Althorp by Wandsworth Common wears PPE as she approaches customers
‘The virus is still with us and the spike in Leicester has shown that. If it starts running out of control again the Government will not hesitate in putting on the brakes and re-imposing restrictions.
‘Anyone who flouts social distancing and Covid-secure rules 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.’
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said Mr Johnson’s message was that people should not ‘overdo it’.
Asked if Mr Johnson would be visiting a pub or restaurant tomorrow, the spokesman said: ‘He’s talked about his enthusiasm for a haircut and pint previously but I don’t know exactly what he’s doing on Saturday yet.’
The spokesman added that it would be ‘plain for all to see next week what he’s been doing at the weekend’ if he gets his blonde mop trimmed over the weekend.
It comes after the Treasury was forced to delete a tweet from its official account on Wednesday evening urging people to ‘grab a drink and raise a glass, pubs are reopening their doors from 4 July’.
A Treasury source said: ‘We got it wrong on this and the tweet was quickly removed.’