While the rest of the UK remained at home, England underwent its first day on Wednesday of some businesses reopening amid mounting opposition criticism of the government’s easing of the lockdown.

England saw an increase in the numbers of people traveling around the country and using public transport.

The government said people should practice social distancing on public transport, or walk or cycle to work, with critics saying the advice was practically impossible to follow in reality.

A video showing people leaving a packed bus in Stratford, east London, at 6.30 a.m. this morning went viral, provoked criticism of the government’s advice encouraging people to go to work set out in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s speech on Sunday.

The government shifted the responsibility to commuters, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps telling the BBC this morning that if transmission rates increased, the government would have to step in.

“We all know what that means - it means going back to staying at home,” he said.

“We have got a big team of marshallers going out through Network Rail, Transport for London, we have got the British Transport Police out there, and we are even bringing in volunteers to remind people that we don’t want to see platforms crowded.”

Shapps admitted, however, that he personally would not get onto a crowded bus or tube.

Labour’s Starmer strikes

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer addressed the nation in a speech broadcast on the BBC on Monday in his capacity as leader of the opposition.

“What we needed from the prime minister last night was clarity and reassurance," Starmer said, adding that what the public got instead were more questions than answers.

“The prime minister said he was setting out a road map, but if we are to complete the journey safely a road map needs clear directions," he said.

"Why are some parts of the United Kingdom now on a different path to others?" he asked.

With one eye on the future, Starmer fired a shot across the bow: “After all this, all the sacrifice and the loss, we can’t go back to business as usual.”

“We can’t go back to a society where we clap our carers once a week, but where half of our care workers are paid less than the real living wage,” he said.

“And we can’t go back to a country where we don’t invest in our public services but expect our frontline workers to protect us.”