Boris Johnson’s lockdown exit plan branded ‘absolute shambles’

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The latest government advice surrounding the country's exit from lockdown has been slammed by ECHO readers.

Last night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation to offer more detail on the current situation regarding the coronavirus crisis.

He announced a number of changes to lockdown restrictions which have been in place in the country for several weeks, including new rules around parks, exercise and travel.

While the PM made it clear that it is too early to drastically change the lockdown, he did encourage some people to start heading back to work from today, May 11.

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The messaging has received a mixed response, with some members of the public confused over what their rights currently are.

In a survey, some readers branded the latest message an "absolute joke" and described the government's handling of the pandemic as "embarrassing and dangerous".

One reader said: "We went into the lockdown two weeks too late and we are leaving the lockdown three weeks too early we are learning nothing from other countries absolute joke."

Another said: "A total disaster! Having locked down too late, we are opening up far too early. We are totally out of step with the rest of the UK, how embarrassing and dangerous for the English nation."

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A third added: "Rubbish. Ambiguous guidance and lockdown rules not enforced".

More than 70% feel more worried after the PM's speech

The government's five point plan.

When asked whether they feel more or less worried about the pandemic after the Prime Minister's latest statement, 73.9% of readers who responded said they were more worried.

Just 3.3% of readers were less worried after hearing Mr Johnson's exit strategy, while 22.9% of readers said they felt the same as before his address.

In other concerns, more than 62% were worried people would just "do what they want" after the Prime Minister's speech.

Readers expressed fears over what the latest guidance will lead to.

One reader said: "There is still a great possibility that this virus will resurface and I don't think staff in the NHS will be able to cope with a bigger onslaught."

Another added: "People are still dying… nothing should be lifted until death rate drops dramatically, as a sufferer of anxiety this is not good, shopping is a challenge already without more people on the streets, why???"

A third commented: "It was unclear and could lead to a spike in cases as people will see his message as the green light to go outside more often and wase social distancing."

One simply said: "Absolute shambles".

Too soon for schools

The Prime Minister suggested some primary school children could be heading back to school by June 1, but more than 80% of readers believe this would be too soon.

Just 16% of readers agreed with the Prime Minister's suggestion.

One reader said: "Statement was a shambles like the handling of the whole pandemic handling. No leadership shown at all Bumbling mess!"

The Prime Minister also said people can enjoy unlimited exercise from Wednesday and would be able to play sports with members of their own family.

But 85% of Merseyside locals said they had no plans to sit in parks and when asked whether they'd drive elsewhere for exercise, 86% said they would not.

One reader said: "He shouldn't have approved more exercise and sunbathing within family groups in public! It will be impossible to maintain and I do not want to waste anymore police time moving people on after the government have given permission to go out socialising!"

When asked whether the Prime Minister's statement would make people change their behaviour, 85% of people said it wouldn't.

There were a few people who had been impressed by the government's handling of the pandemic.

One reader said: "Good job so far considering how complex the situation is."

Another added: "I think Boris and the government have done a good job. There is always those that will think it could [have] been done better".

But the majority of responses slammed the government.

One reader commented: "Absolutely diabolical. A complete shambles".

Another said: "Disorganised, uncaring. They haven’t done enough to help people financially, and they seem to be pushing towards a second wave."