BORIS Johnson spoke of the ‘world beating’ NHS Test and Trace system and how people must have confidence to return to work during a visit to Cheshire today, Thursday.

He told reporters of how the UK is testing more people for coronavirus per head than any other European country.

The Prime Minister also discussed how his planning reforms will see more social housing built across the country during a visit to Stretton, where 180 homes are currently under construction.

And said that planning changes will help more people to move onto the property ladder.

On the Government’s proposed changes to the planning system, he said: "What we're doing is simplifying the process, so you actually get much more affordable housing.

"This solution gives them (builders) a much simpler infrastructure levy that enables them to go ahead and build a much bigger chunk of affordable housing and help people onto the property ladder.

"So I think it's going to have the reverse effect and enable us to build more homes for lots of different types of tenure, whether that's social rent, whether it's part-buy part-rent, all kinds of things that will help people onto the property ladder."

On Test and Trace, Mr Johnson said: "If you look at what we are doing, it certainly does fit that description of 'world beating'.

Northwich Guardian:

The Prime Minister meets with construction workers in Stretton (Credit: Phil Noble/PA Wire)

"I think I'm right in saying that we are now testing more - per head of population - than virtually any other country in Europe, certainly. In America they are testing a huge number of people."

And he says that it is testing on this scale which will give people the confidence to go back to workplaces in a ‘Covid-secure’ way.

His comments come after the Government urged employees in England to return to work this week following five months of home working during the peak of the pandemic.

He added: “There are 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.

“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."