Government scientific advisors have warned MPs to prepare for a second wave of coronavirus this winter which will trigger a second lockdown.
The scientists confirmed that they have “strong evidence” coronavirus does survive ten times longer and flourishes with an optimal temperature of 4C or 39F.
The experts warn with the combined pressures the NHS faces every winter with the seasonal flu, England are to face a “difficult winter.”
A government senior official said, “We can get away with a lot at the moment because it is summer.
“It is really important that people get ready for the challenges that winter will undoubtedly bring.”
Ministers have been told to prepare for a resurgence and have been warned that there will be regional lockdowns.
The senior official warned, “If the overall numbers increase, then I would expect to have to reimpose some national measures.”
Government scientific advisors warned on Friday that the coronavirus R rate has risen above 1 in the South West of England.
The expert government advisory panel, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) said the reproduction rate has not come down in two months and still stands at between 0.7 and 0.9.
SAGE warned the R rate could now be as high as 1.1 in the staycation hotpots of Devon, Cornwall and Dorset.
The advisory panel also warned that these estimates do not reflect “Super Saturday” which saw pubs, bars and restaurants reopen, saying it is too early to judge if this has sparked a spike in cases.
Professor James Naismith, from the University of Oxford said, “These numbers also tell us that we are unlikely to eliminate the virus from the UK before the winter.
“In any event, the virus has become global. Without a vaccine, we have to plan for its presence.”
World Health Organization (WHO) Regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge said late last month, that Europe has seen a huge spike in coronavirus cases since the easing of the lockdown.
The WHO placed 30 countries on alert following the surges of coronavirus across Europe.
Kluge said, “Last week, Europe saw an increase in weekly cases for the first time in months.
“Thirty countries have seen increases in new cumulative cases over the past two weeks.
“In 11 of these countries, accelerated transmission has led to very significant resurgence that if left unchecked will push health systems to the brink once again in Europe.”
Mark Woolhouse, who sits on the government’s Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M) committee, warned “A second wave is a clear and present danger.”