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Prime minister reveals recovery plan will come next week

Prime minister Boris Johnson has said, 30 April, that a plan to restart economy will be revealed next week.

In his first daily press briefing to the British public since recovering from Covid-19, the prime minister confirmed that the UK was past the peak of the disease.

Read more: DCMS to be asked to make distinction between organised events and 'mass gatherings'

With regards to a plan to restart the economy, prime minister Johnson said: “I will be setting out a comprehensive plan next week to explain how we can get our economy moving, how we can get our children back to school, and how we can travel to work and make life in the workplace safer. And 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 into that plan, and as we produce it we are being guided by the science.”

Johnson noted that there were five key tests that must be satisfied before any recovery plan can restart, including the NHS’s ability to cope, a sustained fall in deaths, reduced infection rate, continued testing, and to ensure there was no second peak.

However, responding to a question from the public regarding tourism, to which the £70bn events industry is intrinsically related, Johnson noted the “roadmap to recovery”, adding that no dates can be confirmed and that it would rely on the scientific data.

Answering the question, he said he does want to reopen tourism (leisure and business), but that the timing must be right.

He said: “The short answer is you [Michelle, the person posing the question] are dead right, we have got to get your business going again, we have got to get tourism going again, but we can’t allow such a big influx of tourists so as to create a second spike.”

With a roadmap to recovery due next week, the events industry is keen to see that organised events, in which attendees can be traced, tracked and required to follow social distancing rules, should be differentiated from the blanket term ‘mass gatherings’, as promoted by the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP). This would accelerate the economy’s chances of recovery in a way that assists keeping the public safe.

Image: Number 10 Downing Street official press team