Scientists who advise the government have warned the UK is facing a “rough winter” as the flu season is set to hit alongside with Covid infections.
The Health Secretary Sajid Javid has told MPs in the House of Commons today that it could be a legal requirement to wear a face masks should infections get out of control this winter.
Professor Calum Semple, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) and of child health and outbreak medicine at the University of Liverpool said, “it’s not just going to be coronavirus that’s causing us trouble.”
Professor Semple told BBC Breakfast, “The other seasonal viruses are going to come back
“Hand hygiene and social distancing reduced influenza, it got rid of influenza, and many of the other viruses.
“Now that we’re opening up society, we’ve got to… live with not just Covid but the flu will come back, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) bronchiolitis will come back, so I think we’re going to have a bit of a rough winter.”
Javid told MPs the government has created a “plan B” should things get worse this winter, which will involve the possibility of “legal mandating for face coverings in certain settings.”
He added that working from home guidance could be reinstated and “any responsible government must prepare for all eventualities.”
Some MPs made their disapproval of the proposals exceptionally clear.