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Second lockdown ‘would be disastrous for economy’ – PM

Conservative MP Julian Knight – who chairs the digital, media and culture select committee – asks the prime minister whether the country would be able to afford a second national lockdown.

Boris Johnson says he doesn’t want such an outcome and says ministers are doing “everything in our power” to avoid this.

He says he doubts that the consequences of a second national shutdown “would be anything but disastrous” for the economy.

Knight also asks about support for the creative sector. The prime minister says the government has made a “big investment” in the “vital” arts and cultural industries, and says the government “already” has a recovery plan for this sector.

He adds that quick “pregnancy-style” Covid tests may offer a route towards allowing theatres and football stadiums to return to normality. 

He says that the science behind the “liberating” tests is “almost there”, but the government is “some way off” being able to roll out such a mass testing programme.

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