Social distancing measures will last until end of the year, advises government


The UK will have to live with some social distancing measures in place until at least the end of the year, the government’s chief medical advisor Professor Chris Whitty has advised.

Speaking at the daily coronavirus government briefing last night, Whitty said it was ‘wholly unrealistic’ to expect life to suddenly return to normal and that it wouldn’t be ‘business as usual’ until 2021.

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab also warned about the potential for a second spike and second lockdown.

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Whitty said that the ideal way out of lockdown restrictions would be a ‘highly effective vaccine’ but warned that the chance of having this before the end of 2020 was ‘incredibly small’.

“This disease is not going to be eradicated, it is not going to disappear,” he said.

“So we have to accept that we are working with a disease that we are going to be with globally… for the foreseeable future.”

Prof Whitty said the public should not expect the number of coronavirus-related deaths to “fall away” suddenly after the peak.

Cabinet secretary Michael Gove said at the weekend that the hospitality industry would be subject to social distancing measures for a longer period that others and may not be up and running as normal until Christmas.

The announcement resulted in UKHospitality calling on the government to extend its support to businesses in the sector past three months to help protect the livelihoods of many.

Picture credit: Sky News

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Zoe Monk

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