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Saturday, 04 April 2020 12:58

Coronavirus: UK lockdown could be relaxed in weeks, says top govt adviser

Coronavirus: UK lockdown could be relaxed in weeks, says top govt adviser Coronavirus: UK lockdown could be relaxed in weeks, says top govt adviser

 

Social distancing measures in the UK could be relaxed within weeks if there are signs the coronavirus epidemic is slowing, a leading scientist and government adviser has said.

Professor Neil Ferguson - of Imperial College London, which is advising the government on its coronavirus response - said the UK's epidemic was expected to plateau in the next week to 10 days, but said people's behaviour was critical to determining what happens next.

 

He told BBC Radio 4: "The critical thing first is to get case numbers down, and then I'm hopeful... in a few weeks' time we will be able to move to a regime which will not be normal life, let me emphasise that, but will be somewhat more relaxed in terms of social distancing and the economy, but relying more on testing."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock MP
 
Hancock: 'Stay in this weekend'

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock have urged people to "stick with the guidance" to stay at home and resist the temptation to break the COVID-19 outbreak social distancing rules this sunny weekend.

Asked what would happen if people flouted the lockdown rules, Prof Ferguson replied: "That moves us to a slightly more pessimistic scenario.

"We still think things will plateau but we'll be at quite high levels of infection for weeks and weeks rather than seeing quite a rapid decline as the type seen in China."

 

The government ramped up measures against the coronavirus epidemic last month after a report by Prof Ferguson's team predicted the UK could otherwise have seen 250,000 deaths.

Source: https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-uk-lockdown-could-be-relaxed-in-weeks-says-top-govt-adviser-11968358

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Last modified on Saturday, 04 April 2020 12:58

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