BORIS Johnson will today launch a nine month plan to get Britain back to "near normal" with "lightning lockdowns".
The Prime Minister will this morning set out his vision for reviving the economy and handing councils the power to strike quickly at any spike in coronavirus cases.
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Speaking at No 10, the PM will outline more of the road map to unlock England.
Councils are expected to be given powers to shut pubs and cafés without going to Government first.
The rules could even allow town hall bosses to ban weddings and other gatherings at short notice.
A Government health source said: “Councils will be able to impose lighting lockdowns where they see fit.”
It comes as:
- It was revealed Vladimir Putin's Russia is behind repeated cyber attacks to try and steal a coronavirus vaccine from Britain
- Leicester's mayor blasted the Tory government for playing “party politics” after its partial lockdown ease means pubs and restaurants will stay shut
- MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle stepped down from the Labour front bench, saying he had been the victim of a "torrent of online hate"
- The Government's top scientist insisted there is “absolutely no reason” for people to stop working from home
Leicester became the first city to go into a local lockdown, and now councils will have the power to swoop as soon as necessary elsewhere.
Boris will also give the NHS an extra £3billion so hospitals are “battle ready” for winter and ensure a second wave is avoided.
The PM will also set a target of 500,000 tests a day by the end of October so flare-ups can be dealt with swiftly.
A PR blitz will encourage Brits to get a virus test and promote walk-in testing sites.
Boris will also detail a path to ease distancing, while ensuring the NHS can still cope with any second peak.
A No 10 spokesman said: “Thanks to the hard work and sacrifices of the British people, the virus is under control and we have eased restrictions in a cautious, phased way. But the Prime Minister is clear that now is not the time for complacency. We must make sure our NHS is battle ready for winter.”
The virus thrives in the cold and spreads more easily indoors.
Doctors and ministers fear it could surge again just when flu is circulating and hospitals are struggling with the usual winter crises.
The extra billions will go towards keeping on the Nightingales and private hospital spaces.
No 10 will also carry out a flurry of exercises to “stress test” their NHS winter plans.
It comes despite warnings both in public and private from his scientific experts.
Yesterday the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance told MPs there was "absolutely no reason" to drop working from home.
He said: "Of the various distancing measures, working from home for many companies remains a perfectly good option because it's easy to do.
"I think a number of companies think it's actually not detrimental to productivity. And in that situation, there's absolutely no reason I can see to change it."
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