Boris Johnson today denied the coronavirus lockdown as he warned there is no guarantee the situation will improve by Christmas.
The prime minister admitted people were "angry" with him about the 10pm pubs curfew, the rule of six and the chaotic local curbs, but defended his handling of the crisis amid growing unrest on his own benches.
At the start of the Tory virtual conference, Mr. Johnson urged the public to "be fearless but use common sense" to tackle the outbreak without destroying the economy.
He said he was working "at full speed" and hoped that "over the next few weeks and months the scientific equation will change" and that this would enable a "different approach".
However, in an interview on the BBC's Andrew Marr show, he warned that the restrictions could drag on until 2021.
"I know people are angry and they are angry with me and angry with the government," said Mr Johnson.
“But you know, I have to tell you frankly that it will still be bumpy until Christmas, it can even be bumpy beyond that. However, this is the only way to do it.
He added, "This could be a very tough winter for all of us."
On another roller coaster day of coronavirus developments:
- Mr Johnson indicated that contact tracing may have been hampered by an exceptional technical glitch that nearly doubled the daily infections reported yesterday to just under 13,000.
- He blamed "hobnobbing" outside of the pubs for crowded scenes as night owls are being phased out within the government's 10pm deadline, which critics say makes matters worse.
- Mr Johnson flatly denied the rumors about "Balderdash" he had "Long Covid" and urged the British to lose weight to avoid serious complications from the virus.
- The prime minister insisted that he was "sure" that Donald Trump "will be fine" after the president was hospitalized with coronavirus.
In an interview on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Boris Johnson warned: “It will continue to be bumpy until Christmas. It can even be bumpy beyond that. & # 39;
PM insists Trump "will be fine"
Boris Johnson insisted that Donald Trump "will be okay" today when he rejected "Balderdash" rumors about his own coronavirus fear.
The prime minister said the president had received "the best possible care" and was "certain" that he would overcome the disease.
On the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Mr Johnson also denied speculation that he had not fully recovered from the illness in April.
He flatly denied suffering from "long Covid" and joked that he was "fitter than several butcher dogs".
And the prime minister bluntly accused his own weight of having to go to the hospital – although he insisted that he made no point about Mr Trump's condition. "I was too fat," said Mr Johnson.
The comments came after Mr Trump said he was feeling "much better" despite conflicting reports about his condition.
The president's medical team said he was "very good" and was "exceptionally cheerful" in an update yesterday, less than 24 hours after being helicoptered to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center near Washington DC had been.
However, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows shortly thereafter informed reporters that Mr Trump had gone through a "very worrying" period on Friday and that the next 48 hours would be critical.
The president himself posted a video from his hospital suite on Twitter saying he was "feeling much better now" and hoping to be "back soon".
The comments came after nearly 13,000 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the UK yesterday – twice as many as the day before.
However, the Ministry of Health blames a technical problem for the tip without saying exactly what the problem is.
Mr Johnson said, "The reason is that the counting system was faulty."
He also suggested that it could mean delays for some people in getting important test results.
"Everyone who had a positive test result has now been notified," he said.
Mr Johnson admitted that people were "angry" with him about the pandemic.
But he insisted that his approach was "the only way to do it" and it was impossible to grant a wish and "rip" the disease in order to protect the economy.
"As prime minister, I have not been able to take a course that could expose us to tens of thousands more deaths in a very short time," he said.
“And we have to keep fighting this virus while protecting the economy. That is the balance we have to find. & # 39;
When he said that Tories sentenced him for restricting civil liberties without parliamentary scrutiny, Mr Johnson said, "Nobody in my position wants to do anything we had to do."
"I'm a freedom loving Tory … I don't want to have to take measures like this, are you crazy?" he said.
“This is the last thing we want to do. But I also have to save lives. And that's our priority.
"And by the way, I think this is the British people's priority and I think they are going to want their government to keep working and fighting the virus, and that's exactly what we're doing."
In the controversial 10pm curfew for pubs across England, Mr Johnson blamed the people who chose to "hack" outside the chaotic scenes in town centers after work.
The Prime Minister said: “People just have to follow the instructions.
"Obviously, after following instructions all the time in the pub, they go out on the street and nibble around in such a way that the virus spreads."
He added, "The answer is we all follow the directions."
When asked what scientific evidence there is for a 10 p.m. break, he said, "One of the things we've been told is that by reducing hours, you can cut down on broadcasts."
Mr Johnson said, “On the one hand we have an imperative to save lives, it is a moral imperative to save lives when we can.
“On the other hand, we have to keep our economy moving and our society going.
“That is the balance we are striving for and that is why we now have the package of measures that is in place both nationally and locally.
"We want people to behave fearlessly but with common sense to follow national or local guidelines and fight the virus, but allow us as a country to continue with our priorities."
He said he believed science will "change" in the coming months, which would allow the government and the country to change their approach to dealing with Covid-19.
He said, “I firmly hope and believe that the scientific equation will change over the next few weeks and months and that we will start to see progress, whether it be with vaccines or testing, allowing us to take a different approach.
"But right now that's the balance people have to strike, that's the line we have to follow."
The government said there had been an additional 12,872 laboratory-confirmed cases of coronavirus at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
There were an additional 6,968 laboratory-confirmed cases in the UK as of 9 a.m. on Friday.
The official dashboard announced on Saturday that there had been delays in publishing a number of cases due to a technical issue that has now been fixed.
This means that the total reported in the coming days will include some additional cases from the period between September 24th and October 1st.
Experts previously warned that describing the daily number as a record could be "misleading" as it is not clear how many people were actually infected at the height of the first wave, as community testing was not conducted at the time.
Saturday's figure brings the total number of cases in the UK to 480,017.
The government also said an additional 49 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 on Saturday. This brings the UK to a total of 42,317.
Separate figures released by the UK statistical authorities show that there have now been nearly 57,900 deaths recorded in the UK with Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate.
Other figures show that as of Saturday in England, 2,194 Covid-19 patients were hospitalized, down from 1,622 a week ago, while 307 Covid-19 hospitalized patients were in ventilation beds, down from 223 a week ago.
Coronavirus deaths have remained at relatively low levels despite the increase in cases
A total of 368 patients with confirmed Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals in England on Thursday, compared with 288 a week earlier.
Cabinet Secretary Brandon Lewis was questioned about a technical test data reporting issue that saw more than 12,000 additional cases of positive coronavirus in the UK reported by the government on Saturday.
He told the Sophy Ridge program, “This is a problem between September 24th and October 1st.
“Those numbers were entered yesterday and, as you say, have had that effect on the numbers.
“I would say this is proof of how focused the Department of Health, Public Health in England, the test and the trail are on the system.
& # 39; We are transparent in this regard and publish the figures daily.
“As soon as they discovered a problem, they looked into it, they got to the bottom of those numbers, they were transparent and released the correct numbers, and of course the teams will look through that to make sure it doesn't happen again.
"Meanwhile, we've been thinking about how to get information out to the public as quickly as possible and as transparently as possible, as this helps explain to people how dangerous and how quickly this virus is spreading. & # 39;