The Speaker
Saturday, 18 May 2024 – 12:03

Reaction to Boris Johnson’s address on roadmap out of lockdown

This evening, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out a first sketch of a ‘conditional plan’ to ease lockdown restrictions in the coming weeks and months. 

In a pre-recorded address to the nation, Mr Johnson announced the extension of lockdown measures but set out a first sketch of how lockdown measures may be eased, including by allowing unlimited outdoor exercise from Wednesday this week.

In the address, Mr Johnson referred to a new slogan that was unveiled on Sunday – ‘Stay Alert, Control The Virus, Save Lives’. Following the address, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said the ‘stay at home’ message in Wales has not changed and people should stay home ‘wherever you can’.

Other politicians have also been responding to Mr Johnson’s address. SNP Westminister Leader Iain Blackford has said Boris Johnson’s provisional timeline for re-opening schools, non-essential shops and parts of the hospitality sector “certainly won’t be happening in Scotland.” He said that Mr Johnson had ‘broken’ the four-nation consensus on the virus, adding more confusion.

The Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said, speaking on Sky News, that there were more questions than answers in the PM’s statement and that the “basic message of stay alert just isn’t clear enough”.

Nigel Farage expressed his disapproval of the Prime Minister’s address in a thread of tweets saying;

“I think the big change from this much vaunted Presidential-style address is that I can sunbathe. Was that really it?”

“Never in the field of human statesmanship was so much said to such little effect.”

The Liberal Democrats’ acting leader Sir Ed Davey said “I don’t understand why the government has changed its messaging at this critical stage. It risks what people have fought so hard for.”

Some have reacted more positively to the address by Mr Johnson, but many have also called for more clarity on the plan moving forward.

Mr Johnson is expected to deliver a statement in the House of Commons on Monday afternoon where he will likely receive questions from MPs about the plans moving forward. On Sunday evening, he issued a reminder that members of the public can submit a question for the daily COVID-19 press conference at

A document is also expected to be published on Monday to set out the plans in more detail.


Photo Credit: Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street under licence (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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