Wear face coverings, UK says, as confusion surrounds lockdown easing

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LONDON: Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out a cautious plan yesterday to get Britain back to work, including advice on wearing home-made face coverings, though his attempt to lift the coronavirus lockdown prompted confusion and even satire.

The United Kingdom has one of the world’s highest official COVID-19 death tolls and, after criticism that he was slow to impose a lockdown, Johnson is wary of triggering a second wave of infection.

“Our challenge now is to find a way forward that preserves our hard-won gains while easing the burden of lockdown,” Johnson said in a statement to the House of Commons.

“I will be candid with the House. This is a supremely difficult balance.”

Responding to Johnson, opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer said the government had been issuing conflicting guidance that did not answer the public’s basic practical questions about going back to work.

“What the country needs at this time is clarity and reassurance, but at the moment both are in pretty short supply,” he said. Earlier, the government published a 51-page document entitled “Our Plan to Rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy”. —Agencies

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