Tony Blair Calls For Clear Lockdown Strategy, Accuses Government Of Being 'Too Slow' In Coronavirus Fight

The former Labour PM said: “The ‘normal’ that we return to will be a new normal."

Tony Blair has said a clear strategy is needed to end the coronavirus lockdown as he said Britain was “too slow” in trying to suppress the outbreak of disease compared to other countries.

The former Labour prime minister said the UK needed to be “ahead of the curve” as soon as medical and scientific conditions allowed it to emerge from the lockdown into a “new normal”.

The ex-premier said: “There are two basic phases to tackling the Covid-19 crisis: suppression of the disease; and managed revival of the economy.

“The ‘normal’ that we return to will be a new normal.

“The suppression is absolutely necessary to save lives; and there will continue for some time to be a raft of rules and restrictions necessary to follow.

“But because of the immense collateral damage done by the lockdown – economic and health related – we must ensure that on easing the restrictions, we are fully prepared and ahead of the curve the moment that the medical and scientific advice allows us to start the process.

“In the suppression phase we can see with hindsight, that we were slow compared with the best of other countries.

“In this next phase, we must position government to roll out the revival of the economy and as much of normal life as is possible, with efficiency and clarity of strategy.”

<strong>Former prime minister Tony Blair.</strong>
Former prime minister Tony Blair.
Stefan Rousseau - PA Images via Getty Images

The former premier was commenting as the Tony Blair Foundation for Global Change laid out an exit plan.

He called for mass testing “including the development of the community force” to help with the process.

The ex-PM also said that regarding personal protection equipment (PPE) that “mask acquisition and production on a vast scale” was “essential” for the safety of frontline staff.

On the development of a vaccine, Blair called 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.

The Blair Foundation also suggested age segmentation with younger people at much lower risk being allowed to return to work sooner.