Prime Minister Boris Johnson has blamed Brits over the recent rise in coronavirus cases as people have become “blasé about transmission” which is now “exponentially” growing.
On Friday the government’s scientific advisory group SAGE warned that the epidemic is still “growing exponentially” and the estimated R number for the UK is now higher.
The R number has now grown across the whole of the UK to between 1.3 and 1.6, last week the transmission rate was between 1.2 and 1.5.
Johnson told BBC Scotland, “Alas, probably what happened since then is that everyone got a bit, kind of complacent and a bit blasé about transmission.
“The rules on social distancing weren’t perhaps obeyed in the way they could have been, or enforced in the way they could have been, and that’s why we’ve had to put in measures both in Scotland and elsewhere to bring it down again.”
Adding, “I’m afraid some of the muscle memory has faded and people are not following the guidance in the way that they should.”
Speaking to the BBC North East he defended the coronavirus testing and said that the lack of testing is not causing the surge in new cases.
The Prime Minister said, “That’s not the reality… the nation came together in March and April, what happened over the summer was a bit of sort of fraying of people’s discipline and attention to those rules.”
He added, “I think we have done everything in our power to control this virus. A lot of people are criticising the government for applying too stringent a lockdown in places … a lot of people feel we could be doing more.
“It’s a very tough balance to strike and I can see why people feel frustrated.”
They are now self-isolating for 14-days and their flatmates have been told to get tested “as soon as possible.”
This comes after scientific experts warned on Friday that universities are “human petri dishes” for spreading coronavirus as students have travelled from all parts of the UK and are sharing accommodation.
The scientists warned that coronavirus infections are currently the highest amongst 17 to 24-year olds and more than 45 universities are experiencing outbreaks.