While the UK government’s Cummings misconduct is being debated, the prime minister is announcing easing of protections against the corona virus. Interesting timing at the government seat.
In England, numerous shops are allowed to reopen in mid-June. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in London (article image). Clothing shops, furniture stores, specialty shops for electronics or books, auction houses and tailors, among others, can then offer their services again. As of June 1st, outdoor markets can sell their goods again. On March 23, the prime minister, who had meanwhile become seriously ill with COVID-19, had closed all shops that do not serve primary care like supermarkets and pharmacies for pandemic containment.
The Prime Minister had already announced at the weekend that the schools would be opened for individual grades from June. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland go their own way in the fight against the corona virus – and distance themselves more or less openly from London. Britain is the country with the most victims in Europe. To date, 36,914 deaths have been recorded, Johnson announced on Monday evening. Experts assume that the number of unreported cases is high.
However, the planned reopening of non-essential stores – “from department stores to small independent stores” – will depend on the development of corona infection numbers, Johnson added. Hairdressers, beauty salons and hotels, on the other hand, should remain closed. The prime minister, however, tried to emphasize the positive side. Given “the progress we are making”, phase two of the easing could be initiated. “I am confident that the common sense of the UK population will get us through.”
At the table in the rose garden
Previously, his most important advisor Dominic Cummings had made an appearance on Downing Street, which the German press agency called “bizarre”. The government adviser, feared by many, refused to give up his position despite the massive criticism of his trip to relatives in the middle of the Corona crisis. “I didn’t offer to resign. I didn’t consider it,” said Cummings, sitting at a table in the rose garden of the London headquarters. “I don’t regret what I did.”
The 48-year-old is considered a highly intelligent campaign strategist, but also unpredictable. He started his performance about half an hour late, appeared with his shirt sleeves rolled up and called journalists a casual “Hi there!” to. And then the explanation: he only visited his parents and his family once at the end of March. British newspapers, on the other hand, had reported that Cummings had traveled to his relatives several times during the pandemic from London to Durham, some 430 kilometers away. He acted “reasonably and appropriately” according to the circumstances.
He advised that the reason for a trip to his parents at the end of March was that he had no other way of ensuring the care of his four-year-old son. He wanted to take care of him because his wife had COVID-19 and he had to expect to be infected himself. He spoke of a “complicated situation”. He only informed Johnson about it later. On April 13, the family was back in London.