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Johnson tells public 'to use British common sense' on new rules

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the nation from Downing Street (Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street/PA)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the nation from Downing Street (Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street/PA)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the nation from Downing Street (Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street/PA)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night urged his public to "use good, solid British common sense" in interpreting his new lockdown rules after facing a host of questions and confusion over his strategy.

Mr Johnson said he understood why some people were "perplexed" by the regulations and last night was urged by members of the public to clarify the rules.

He was asked to explain how it was "logical" for people to be able to mix in workplaces but not with family members, and how parents could possibly follow his "back to work" mantra if schools were still not open.

Mr Johnson was also asked why people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should follow the rules when the leaders of the devolved administrations were refusing to adopt the strategy. Defending the changes in parliament, Mr Johnson said there would be "myriad hypothetical situations" in which people would come up against the "complexity" of the new rules, but added: "I know that the British public will continue to help the police, and everybody, to enforce the rules... by continuing to apply good, solid British common sense."

Mr Johnson set out his new strategy for easing lockdown on Sunday night and yesterday his government published a 51-page explanation of how the restrictions will gradually be lifted, titled 'Our Plan To Rebuild', in which Mr Johnson warned there may never be a vaccine against coronavirus, meaning society could be in for a "long-haul" struggle.

From tomorrow, individuals will be allowed to meet one other person from another household in an open-air public space as long as they stay two metres apart. It means friends and relatives can see each other in parks or on beaches, but it will remain illegal for anyone to see two people at the same time, meaning people may not see both their parents at once, even with social distancing in place.

It will remain illegal to visit people at their home, even if only to sit in their garden two metres away from them.

Conservative MPs admitted the rules seemed "contradictory" and Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, said they had "caused confusion".

Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, seemed unaware of what the new rules meant as he embarked on a series of interviews yesterday.

Mr Johnson was also forced to defend the new "Stay Alert" slogan, confessing that it was difficult to match such a "gloriously simple" message as the previous "Stay Home" campaign.

Irish Independent