The coronavirus pandemic “will be bumpy through to Christmas” and potentially beyond that, Boris Johnson has warned, as he said it is is “too early to say” whether local lockdowns are effective in bringing down infection rates.
The prime minister was asked specifically about Oldham, which has seen its COVID-19 infection rate double despite being under tighter restrictions for the past six weeks.
Mr Johnson told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “The advice that we’re getting is that in these areas where we’ve got stringent local lockdowns, we’ve got to wait and see if the R number starts to come down.”
His interview came after government figures showed there were a further 12,872 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UK as of 9am on Saturday.
A technical glitch may mean that the actual daily figure is somewhat smaller.
When told that the British people are “exhausted and furious”, Mr Johnson replied: “They’re furious at me and they’re furious at the government, but… I’ve got to tell you in all candour it’s going to continue to be bumpy through to Christmas, it may even be bumpy beyond.
“But this is the only way to do it.”