Talking to Sky News in a John Lewis department store amid preparations for easing the coronavirus confinement, Rishi Sunak urged buyers to return to the main street when general stores begin to open in the coming weeks.
The longer the economy has been closed, the more serious the implications, he said.
Talk about the day after the government school overturned, in which plans that all elementary school children in England will return a month before the summer holidays have been abandoned, said the Chancellor: “I personally think that our children are not in school every day is a tragedy.
“This will obviously have an impact on their future.
“This is why I am so happy that as part of our measured and deliberate plan, we were able to reopen schools on June 1 for a number of students, especially our youngest children.
“I am so grateful to teachers and schools for making this possible, because I think it is something so vital to our country and to the future of these children. ”
Sunak added, “We can’t do it all at once, we have to take careful, measured and deliberate action to do it, but that’s what we do.
“We are working on a plan that we have. The good news is that every week we make progress. “
He insisted that the government was completing its five self-imposed tests to reopen the economy, despite concerns from government scientists about the resurgence of the disease.
He added that he was “proud” of the government’s record in the fight against the disease – although he admitted that he had to “iterate” and change plans along the way.
The Chancellor also addressed the protests in this country and in the United States against racism and police brutality, saying: “Of course racism exists … I understand that people want change, but it doesn’t happen with vandalism and violence.
“We have to take a moment to recognize the enormous progress made. ”
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When asked if he had experienced racism himself, Mr. Sunak replied, “Absolutely, me.
“It stings in a way that very few other things have. ”
Speaking of the reopening of the general stores, which is due to start on Monday, the Chancellor said: “Last month we established a clear plan to slowly reopen our country and today we are at the next stage of this plan where the next week we will be able to reopen stores in our country.
“And it is because we have met the five tests that we have defined.
“I hope that when all of these stores open, people will have the confidence that they can safely go out again. And it’s very important. “