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Boris Johnson said Britain may not be free from the coronavirus “for a while”, an admission that highlights the difficult task it has of convincing people to return to work because the national death toll from Covid-19 remains the highest in Europe.
In an opinion piece for The Mail on Sunday, Johnson said his government would spend £ 93 million ($ 113 million) at a vaccine research center in Oxfordshire and the site will open in the summer of 2021, a year ahead of schedule.
Wealthier governments are maneuvering for the first rights to potential vaccines – Covid-19 has killed more than 310,000 people worldwide, disrupted the way people live their lives and crumbled savings.
“We have to recognize that we may need to live with this virus for some time to come,” wrote Johnson. “We need to find new ways to control the virus. We will do this through testing and tracing. “
Johnson’s article – largely a One Nation-style rallying cry that referred to the “common sense of the British people” – sought to draw a line under one of the most chaotic days in his tenure as Prime Minister after his televised speech to the nation last weekend. He dropped the “stay home” message to “stay alert”, a change that left many Britons confused as to what they were allowed to do outside and whether they should risk going back to the job.
Support for the government is waning, according to a poll published in the Observer newspaper. For the first time since Opinium started following opinions on the pandemic in March, more people disapprove of government management than approve.
Pressured by his own Conservative Party to break Britain out of the deadlock and kick-start a recessionary economy, Johnson tries to encourage a skeptical electorate to return to their offices and, in particular, to send their children home. primary school next month.
According to government plans, more schools and shops will be reopened at the earliest in June, while some pubs and restaurants will be able to resume operations at the earliest in July.
“In return for the small freedoms we allow ourselves, we must remain vigilant,” said Johnson. “We must do this knowing that our self-discipline will ultimately lead to the return of our much-missed normality.”