People should brace themselves for at least six months of curbs on their normal everyday freedoms as the country works to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Dr Jenny Harries, Britain’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, said it could be six months or more before the UK gets back to normal from the pandemic.
The Prime Minister, who is self-isolating in No 11 Downing Street after himself showing symptoms of coronavirus, followed her comments with his own, when he told Britons that the UK will get through the crisis “together”.
Boris Johnson made the comments in a video message in which he praised the 750,000 volunteers who have offered to assist the health service.
The Prime Minister also revealed that 20,000 ex-staff have returned to the NHS to help fight coronavirus.
Dr Harries had said earlier that the current lockdown measures would have to be in place for months and would be lifted gradually before regular life resumes fully.
She said the nationwide restrictions would be reviewed every three weeks.
Johnson also chose to clarify – political opponents would say contradict – former Tory Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s infamous quote that “there is no such thing as society”.
He said: “We are going to do it, we are going to do it together.
“One thing I think the coronavirus crisis has already proved is that there really is such a thing as society.”
In addition to the Prime Minister, his chief aide, Dominic Cummings, is also self-isolating with coronavirus symptoms, as is Health Secreatary Matt Hancock.
It was confirmed on Sunday that another 207 people in the UK have died after testing positive for coronavirus, taking the total to 1,235.