UK seeks to avoid national lockdown to stop unemployment in millions, minister says

LONDON, Oct 1 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government is seeking to avoid a full national lockdown to prevent unemployment soaring into the millions, Environment Secretary George Eustice said on Thursday.

“I’ve not seen any projections of 4 million but certainly we know that there are some 700,000 extra people that are already unemployed as a result of this, and yes you know the projections are, that there are going to be economic impacts,” Eustice told Sky.

“It’s for precisely that reason that we are trying to avoid full lockdown,” he said.

Britain’s Office for Budget Responsibility’s central economic scenario sees unemployment averaging 3.5 million next year, and rising to 4 million in a downside scenario. (Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton)