The 55-year-old conservative leader arrived at Checkers on Sunday, some 50 kilometers northwest of London.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was recovering from coronavirus in the countryside on Monday after nearly death, as his government prepares to extend the containment to curb an epidemic that has already claimed more than 11,000 lives.
After a trying week in London’s Saint Thomas hospital, where he spent several days in intensive care, the 55-year-old conservative leader arrived at Checkers on Sunday, some 50 kilometers north-west of London.
It was in this 16th century red brick mansion, country residence of the heads of government since 1921, that he began his recovery, joined by his pregnant partner Carrie Symonds.
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“The Prime Minister is focused on his recovery, he is not working at the moment,” said a spokesman for Boris Johnson. The management of the crisis thus falls to the government, under the leadership of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dominic Raab.
“We will defeat the coronavirus and we will defeat it together”, however assured a Boris Johnson with drawn lines in a video broadcast Sunday by his services, filmed as soon as he arrived in the residence where his glorious predecessor Winston Churchill spent several Christmas.
No “more damage”
The United Kingdom is now one of the most affected countries in Europe and the epidemic is raging there without ceasing, with 717 additional deaths – 11 329 in total – announced Monday by the Ministry of Health, and 88 621 people infected. . The government must decide in the coming days on a possible extension of the containment, decreed on March 23 for three weeks.
“Let me be clear, so that no one is under the illusion that the review of the containment measures will result in the lifting of restrictions in the near future,” Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Monday. an official speech. “The measures we are taking are working, but we must stick to them.”
The British authorities have indeed said that they would wait until the peak of the pandemic is crossed to relax the measures in place. If a first extension will undoubtedly be decided without Boris Johnson, the leader will eventually have to address the thorny question of the lifting of confinement and its modalities, a subject that divides at the top of the state.
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According to the conservative daily The Times, the government is now divided between the ministers in favor of a short containment, until May – among which the Minister of the Interior Priti Patel, the Minister of Finance Rishi Sunak or that of Trade Alok Sharma – and those pleading for an extension of the measures beyond three new weeks, like the Minister of Health Matt Hancock.
Under cover of anonymity, a minister explains in the daily newspaper that it is important not to do “more damage” by unnecessarily prolonging a confinement with devastating economic consequences, believing that the measures could very well be relaxed after three new weeks .
Government science advisers will meet Tuesday before an official government announcement is expected on Thursday.