Coronavirus: Boris Johnson knows he’ll have to give the public more in the coming days

Boris Johnson is back in Downing Street and his return to work is undoubtedly a moment of success in this grim coronavirus crisis.

The prime minister has survived this horrible disease, but sadly tens of thousands of others have not.

He was away for three weeks and the country he leads has changed beyond recognition.

We are passing through the peak of this COVID-19 pandemic and we are all counting the cost – some much more than others.

With the UK now into a sixth week of lockdown, political consensus – and public support – is beginning to fray.

Many want to move on, but Mr Johnson marked his return to Number 10 by managing lockdown expectations.

Likening the virus to a mugger, the prime minister said this was the moment “we have begun together to wrestle it to the floor”.

But he warned that easing up social restrictions now would bring “not only a new wave of death and disease but also an economic disaster”.

He said: “I ask you to contain your impatience because I believe we are coming now to the end of the first phase of this conflict.”

The big question now is what comes next?

If the government has the answers, it is not willing to share them with the public quite yet.

The government has set out five tests for adjusting the lockdown.

These are that the NHS has capacity to provide critical care across the UK; there is a sustained and consistent fall in daily deaths from coronavirus; the rate of infection has decreased to manageable levels across the board; operational issues on testing and PPE are in hand; and any adjustments will not risk a second peak.

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