At a Downing Street press conference today (Thursday 5 November) – the first day of the nationwide lockdown – Johnson urged the public to stay at home.
He called on the public to follow the rules while announcing extra financial aid to help house rough sleepers during winter.
Johnson said there was a “shared approach” to Christmas between the devolved governments alongside reassurances that 28 days of lockdown for England is “enough to have a real impact”.
Answering a question from the Romilly Weeks of ITV who asked if he really thought restrictions could be lifted before Christmas and questioned if the desire to celebrate would send the virus surging again, Johnson said: "We can do this, we will do this by 2 December and I have every confidence we will be able, if we follow this package of measures in the way we can and as we have done before, I’ve no doubt people will be able to have as normal a Christmas as possible and we will be able to get things open before Christmas as well.”
On the lockdown measures, the Prime Minister added: “These rules will expire and on 2 December we plan to move back to a tiered approach.”
He was joined by NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens, who laid out the rise in infections and called on the public for help. "Help us help you, protect our ability to offer the full range of health services that is required," he said.
This followed Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak’s announcement of a furlough extension to MPs in the House of Commons earlier on today.
He said: “We can announce the furlough scheme will not be extended for one month – it will be extended until the end of March. The Government will continue to help pay people’s wages, up to 80% of the normal amount.
“All employers will have to pay for hours not worked is the cost of employer national insurance contributions and pension contributions.
“We’ll review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.”
Sunak also outlined how self-employed workers will also be able to claim the next income support grant, which covers November to January, will rise to 80% of average profits up to £7,500.