The Prime Minster has announced the irreversible way out of lockdown from 19 July, but there are warnings there could be another lockdown this autumn and winter.
Boris Johnson announced on Monday during a press briefing that the pandemic is “far from over” and Sajid Javid warned today that cases could reach 100,000 a day in mid-August.
England’s chied scientific advisor, Sir Patrick Vallance said the vaccine rollout has “weakened the link” for hospital admissions and the patients are now rising at a slower pace.
Papers released from the government’s scientific advisory group Sage have called on Johnson to keep “baseline measures” in place.
They are urging the government to keep face masks and working from home in place and have warned that a “sustained long-term behavioural change” may be required to control another “resurgence in infections.”
Scientists have warned there could be more restrictions later this year as “There is significant risk in allowing prevalence to rise, even if hospitalisations and deaths are kept low by vaccination.
“If it were necessary to reduce prevalence to low levels again (e.g., VoC become more pathogenic for others previously less affected), then restrictive measures would be required for much longer.”
On Monday evening minutes from a meeting which was held on 22 April gave a grim warning that unlocking the country could “re-create the conditions for superspreader events.”
Hospitalisations will rise with more deaths as a direct result of unlocking England, and Johnson asked on Monday evening, “If not now, then when” in relation as to when should we unlock.
Another paper said the government must consider more measures which may be required “beyond the roadmap” with the “need for ongoing measures.”
The paper said, “Though vaccines are expected to have some population level impact on transmission, this will be limited until those groups which have more contacts (e.g. younger adults) have been vaccinated.
“Even beyond the point when all adults have been offered the vaccine, keeping some level of measures in place both through summer and beyond would significantly decrease ongoing transmission.
“It is notable that countries (e.g. New Zealand) that have near-zero Covid-19 have decided to retain some baseline measures (e.g. wearing of masks on public transport) to reduce the impact of occasional outbreaks.”