The Prime Minister has been urged to share a “roadmap” for how UK lockdown measures will be lifted.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Mr David has argued a step-by-step blueprint is needed to help small businesses and shops in the first instance to re-open amid signs that coronavirus deaths in the UK are reaching their peak.
“We must kill off this virus threat – and move heaven and earth to protect those most at risk – but we must not kill off our economy in the process,” he says.
Suggesting that the two million people who are most vulnerable to Covid-19 could remain in self-isolation while others return to work, Mr Davis warns of the potentially devastating long-term damage after “this extraordinary economic shutdown”.
The Conservative MP has even urged the Prime Minister to consider granting tax cuts to small businesses, and large-scale spending on infrastructure projects to boost the economy in the style of President Roosevelt’s New Deal, which came after the Great Depression.
It comes after another former cabinet minister, Iain Duncan Smith told the government not to treat the public like “children”.
The ex-Tory party leader has urged ministers to explain their exit plans so the UK public knows there is “life after lockdown”.
Meanwhile Sir Keir Starmer, who was elected as Labour leader two weeks ago, has said that while he supported this week’s decision to extend lockdown measures, “a clear plan for what comes next” is needed.
Also writing in the Mail on Sunday, he said: “Other countries have begun to set out a roadmap to lift restrictions in certain sectors of the economy and for certain services, especially social care, when the time is right.
“This of course must be done in a careful, considered way with public health, scientific evidence and the safety of workers and families at its heart. But the UK Government should be doing likewise.”
It is understood that officials are drawing up a three-stage “traffic light” plan, that could see some non-essential businesses re-open in early to mid-May.
This is likely to include DIY stores and garden centres, and it is also hoped that pupils will be able to return to school.
Pubs and restaurants, however, may not be allowed to resume business until the end of the summer.
Britain’s coronavirus death toll has soared to 15,538 after almost 900 more hospital fatalities were reported in 24 hours.
The UK is one of just five countries with more than 15,000 deaths, joining the US, Italy, Spain and France amid signs that the curve is flattening.