Boris Johnson will today launch a nine month plan to get Britain back to „near normal” with „lightning lockdowns”.
The Prime Minister will this morning set out his vision for reviving the economy and handing councils the power to strike quickly at any spike in coronavirus cases.
Speaking at No 10, the PM will outline more of the road map to unlock England. Councils are expected to be given powers to shut pubs and cafés without going to Government first.
The rules could even allow town hall bosses to ban weddings and other gatherings at short notice. A Government health source said: “Councils will be able to impose lighting lockdowns where they see fit.”
Leicester became the first city to go into a local lockdown, and now councils will have the power to swoop as soon as necessary elsewhere.
Boris will also give the NHS an extra £3billion so hospitals are “battle ready” for winter and ensure a second wave is avoided.
The PM will also set a target of 500,000 tests a day by the end of October so flare-ups can be dealt with swiftly.
A PR blitz will encourage Brits to get a virus test and promote walk-in testing sites.
Boris will also detail a path to ease distancing, while ensuring the NHS can still cope with any second peak.
A No 10 spokesman said: “Thanks to the hard work and sacrifices of the British people, the virus is under control and we have eased restrictions in a cautious, phased way. But the Prime Minister is clear that now is not the time for complacency. We must make sure our NHS is battle ready for winter.”
The virus thrives in the cold and spreads more easily indoors.
Doctors and ministers fear it could surge again just when flu is circulating and hospitals are struggling with the usual winter crises.
The extra billions will go towards keeping on the Nightingales and private hospital spaces.
No 10 will also carry out a flurry of exercises to “stress test” their NHS winter plans.
It comes despite warnings both in public and private from his scientific experts.
Yesterday the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance told MPs there was „absolutely no reason” to drop working from home.
He said: „Of the various distancing measures, working from home for many companies remains a perfectly good option because it’s easy to do.
„I think a number of companies think it’s actually not detrimental to productivity. And in that situation, there’s absolutely no reason I can see to change it.”