Britain will beat coronavirus in 12 weeks, says Boris Johnson

Britain will "turn the tide" on coronavirus in the next 12 weeks, the Prime Minister says.

Boris Johnson has been reluctant to put any kind of time frame on the pandemic, but said at a press conference on Thursday that he expects the UK to get a grip on the virus by June.

"I want us to get on top of it," he told media, and acknowledged that the virus doesn't yet seem to be responding to the interventions put in place by the British government.

He says better and more widespread testing will enable us to get on top of coronavirus in the next three months. An effective antibody test that can identify whether someone has had the virus is currently in development, and Johnson says the government will buy "literally hundreds of thousands" of the tests as soon as they become available.

Live updates on COVID-19 cases near you

England: 2,182

  • London: 953
  • South East: 285
  • Midlands: 234
  • North East and Yorkshire: 168
  • North West: 180
  • East of England: 128
  • South West: 117

Scotland: 227

Wales: 149

Northern Ireland: 68

He said he can't promise that life in the UK will have returned to normal by June, but says it's "possible" we'll be on the downward slope by then".

"We don't know how long this thing will go for, but we do know it is finite and we will turn the tide," he said.

It's vital that all Brits follow medical advice and practice social distancing and self-isolation in order for coronavirus to be defeated.

"It will make a huge, huge difference if we all do it together," Johnson said.

He expects the "curve to come down" as testing is rolled out further, referring to the medical practice of "flattening the curve" of transmitted cases.

Johnson also advised businesses to think carefully before laying off staff and to keep the temporary nature of the coronavirus in mind.

  • Coronavirus
  • Boris Johnson

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