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PM returns to duty, says now not time to relax social distancing

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that now is not the time to relax social distancing measures but insisted the UK has turned the tide against Covid-19.

He made his remarks in his first public statement as he returned to work today (Monday).

Saying he had been away for longer than he would have liked, the Prime Minister thanked the public for the “grit” they had shown.

He asked people to continue to act in a way that protects the National Health Service.

“Once again I want to thank you the people of this country for the sheer grit and guts you’ve shown and are continuing to show,” he said.

“Every day I know that this virus brings new sadness and mourning to households across the land.

“If this virus were a physical assailant, an unexpected and invisible mugger — which I can tell you from personal experience, it is — then this is the moment when we have begun together to wrestle it to the floor.

“And so it follows that this is the moment of opportunity, this is the moment when we can press home our advantage, it is also the moment of maximum risk.

“I know there will be many people looking at our apparent success, and beginning to wonder whether now is the time to go easy on those social distancing measures.”

He said he understood “how hard and stressful it has been to give up, even temporarily, those ancient and basic freedoms”.

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But he said a second spike in cases risked “economic disaster” for the UK.

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