‘Boris Johnson’s government was “probably slow” in its early response to the coronavirus, Tony Blair has said
The former prime minister also told Sky News that he “can’t see any way out” of the COVID-19 lockdown without mass testing of the public.
It comes as his Tony Blair Foundation for Global Change laid out a possible exit plan for easing the coronavirus restrictions brought in last month.
Mr Blair, who was in office from 1997 to 2007, said the outbreak was the “most complicated and difficult challenge I have ever seen in politics”.
And he said his intention in publishing a possible exit strategy was done in the spirit of offering “constructive advice” to Mr Johnson.
Mr Blair’s plan includes:
- Mass testing of the public, “including the development of the community force” to help with the process
- Ensuring there is “mask acquisition and production on a vast scale” for front-line staff
- On the development of a vaccine, the report calls for “utilisation of every means nationally and globally to identify those treatments which can reduce the severity of the disease”
- Once new cases fall substantially, the UK could consider easing restrictions by opening schools first
- Age segmentation could be implemented, with younger people at much lower risk being allowed to go back to work sooner
- In his Sky interview, the former PM suggested tasking a senior minister with specific elements of the COVID-19 response, such as provision of personal protective equipment and mass testing’