A government Sage advisor has said that the UK should be “more or less free of this [Covid] by the end of this year,” say “Christmas,” he told ITV.
Professor John Edmunds of Sage also said that some of the coronavirus measures will most likely remain “forever,” and we need to remain “very cautious” over foreign travel.
Professor Edmunds said, “I think we do have to keep our borders pretty tight at the moment – nobody likes this.
“But we’ve identified these significant new variants that are out there and we need to be able to arm ourselves against them and we don’t have new vaccines that could potentially arm ourselves against these new variants yet.
“I know that companies are working very hard on developing new vaccines in order to protect against these potential new variants that might affect us so I do think we need to be very cautious at the moment about travel abroad.”
He warned that if schools reopen then it will be “touch and go” if the transmission rate will rise above 1, should schools open on 8 March.
Professor Edmunds told ITV’s Robert Peston, “We’re not absolutely certain, it looks as if it would be touch and go. If we opened up schools I think that the reproduction number would get close to one and possibly exceed one.
“If we opened them up completely, if we opened secondary schools and primary schools both at the same time, I suspect we’d be lucky to keep the reproduction number below one… I think we have to do everything very gradually and see how it goes.”
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