Boris Johnson posed pumping iron today as he urged Britons to have the confidence to go back to workplaces.
The PM hailed ‘signs of strength’ in the UK economy as he said it was crucial for people to return to their normal duties.
Mr Johnson, who has been on a health kick since recovering from his own coronavirus scare, visited The Gym in his Uxbridge constituency encouraging the country to support businesses that are reopening.
The Bank of England has offered a glimmer of hope for the economy by predicting the downturn caused by lockdown might not be as bad as initially feared.
However, governor Andrew Bailey warned that unemployment is still set to go up by more than a million by the end of the year.
And he cautioned that some sectors of UK plc – such as many parts of the hospitality industry – might not be ‘viable’ as the country’s way of life changes.
During a visit to a housing development in Warrington this afternoon after his gym trip, the Prime Minister told reporters there were ‘real signs of strength in the UK economy’.
‘Unquestionably it will require people to have the confidence to go back to work in a Covid-secure way,’ he continued.
‘It’s also very, very important that we get all the schools back in September, on September 1 get all the pupils back into their schools.
‘That will be also very, very important for getting our economy overall moving again.’
The government has downgraded its advice for people to work from home where possible, amid concerns that town and city centres are being hollowed out by the lack of footfall.
Yesterday research by Morgan Stanley suggested that Britons are less likely to have been back in the office than European counterparts.
This morning Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick urged people to ‘get out’ and support local businesses in the cities if they want to prevent further job losses.
Asked whether he was concerned that London is being ‘hollowed out’ on LBC, he said: ‘Well I am very concerned about London and city centres more generally.
‘You are seeing people starting to go back into town centres and obviously using local shops in villages and rural areas, but many of our city centres are very quiet and we need to get back into them, using the Chancellor’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme, going to visit the shops safely, it can be done.
‘Shops and the hospitality industry are going to great lengths to make sure that they’re following social distancing guidelines and those of us that can do so need to get out and support them now or else we will see, I’m afraid, further job losses and a loss of some of those fantastic businesses that we see in our cities.’