The Prime Minister was speaking at a Downing Street press conference today, Thursday, November 5, as the country begins a second lockdown.
He said expert advice suggested four weeks was enough to make a difference: “There is light at the end of the tunnel,” he promised.
Mr Johnson said he understood public frustration at the prospect of a second lockdown, but promised it would not be open-ended like the first one : “I know how tough this is, for staff in the NHS and care homes, facing a tough winter on the front line, for families who can’t meet in the way that they would want to, for businesses forced to shut just as you are getting back on your feet,” he said.
“I know that many of you are anxious, weary and quite frankly fed up with the very mention of this virus but I want to assure you this is not a repeat of the spring.
"Schools, universities and nurseries are all staying open, and these measures, though they are tough, are time-limited.”
The Prime Minister said he had ‘every confidence’ the measures would work and by December 2 people would be able to have ‘as normal a Christmas as possible’.
“I know that together we can get through this so please, for the next four weeks, stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.”
Mr Johnson said he understood public frustration with test and trace and admitted it had sometimes taken too long for people to get their results, but turn around times were getting better.
NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said he had asked staff what they wanted to tell the public and there were three messages - that this new wave of virus is real and it is serious, that NHS has been working to prepare and to catch up with care disrupted during first wave, and ability to continue depends on growth of infection: “Left unchecked, it will disrupt care,” he said.
There were now more than 11,000 people being treated for coronavirus in hospital, the equivalent of 22 hospitals: “Today’s infection is the intensive care order book for a fortnight’s time,” he said.