The UK won’t be in a position to need another national lockdown, according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Johnson likened a nationwide shutdown to a “nuclear deterrent,” telling the Sunday Telegraph that he doesn’t want to use it. “And nor do I think we will be in that position again,” he added.
Johnson’s comments came after the announcement of plans for local authorities to have new powers to implement local lockdowns to respond to increases in coronavirus cases.
Despite worldwide criticism of the U.K.’s response to the pandemic, Johnson defended the government, insisting that “lots of things … went very, very well.”
He pointed to the quickly-built Nightingale hospitals across the country, the U.K. trial that led to dexamethasone becoming a possible treatment for coronavirus and the country’s extensive furlough scheme.
In the wide-ranging interview, Johnson also spoke of his plans to shake up the university education system.
Specifically, he said that the pricing of university courses would be reviewed.
“In reality, it would have been much more sensible if courses had been differently priced. We are certainly looking at all that.”
An increased focus on technical education would also support the U.K.’s production of new technology, argued Johnson, in a reference to the U.K. banning the Chinese firm Huawei’s 5G gear.
“Let’s start doing some of this stuff ourselves, working with … like-minded countries, and getting the stuff installed.
The potential is enormous, whether it’s 5G or full-fibre or gigabit or superfast broadband, the U.K. can really excel in all those,” he said.