The prime minister is giving the day’s press briefing for the first time after recovering from coronavirus.
Boris Johnson told the country: ‘I’m sorry not to have been part of this trio for so long.
‘I want to thank everybody who has been doing such a good job in my absence and I want to thank the NHS for so much, including getting me back here and I might add, a very much happier hospital visit yesterday.’
He announced that the country had come past the peak of the disease and ‘can now see the sunlight ahead of us’.
He said: ‘It’s thanks to that massive collective effort to shield the NHS that we avoided an uncontrollable and catastrophic epidemic – where the reasonable worst case scenario was 500,000 deaths.
‘And so I can confirm today that for the first time, we are past the peak of this disease. We are past the peak and we are on the downward slope.’
He said that we will get more information next week about how the lockdown will ease: ‘I will be setting out a comprehensive plan next week to explain how we can get our economy moving, how we can our children back to school and childcare, and how we can travel to work and make life in the workplace safer.
‘And in short, how we can continue to suppress the disease and at the same time, restart the economy.
‘A huge amount of work has been going on on that plan, and of course, as we produce it we are being guided by the science and we will try to build the maximum political consensus as we produce it across all parties, and across the UK.’
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