A SURGE in coronavirus cases could delay Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s road map out of lockdown, one expert has warned.
Under the PM’s plan, the next set of restrictions will be lifted on May 17.
Experts have warned that a surge in infections could set back the roadmap out of lockdown. Brits have been enjoying the latest lifting of restrictions which meant non-essential shops were able to reopenCredit: NNP
Professor Adam Finn, from the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation), today warned that as lockdown is relaxed, cases would naturally rise.
His comments come after Mr Johnson last night addressed the nation at a Downing Street press conference.
He warned that it was likely the UK would experience a third wave, possibly in the winter months.
Under the next round of loosening restrictions, pubs will be able to serve customers indoors and saunas and spas will be allowed to reopen.
In a further relaxation of the rules, 10,000 football fans will be allowed into stadiums and two households will be able to mix indoors.
Prof Finn agreed with the PM and said the models point to a “summer surge in cases”.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast this morning he said: “The models that we’ve seen on JCVI clearly point to a summer surge in cases as the lockdown is relaxed, because there are still many people in the adult population who’ve not been immunised and who will therefore start to transmit the infection between each other.”
He said there was “quite a wide range of uncertainty” over how big the wave will be “because it depends on how quickly the vaccine rollout continues forward”.
He also warned that it depends on how people behave as the restrictions are relaxed.
He added: “If people move too far forward with that too fast, we’ll see things start to come up earlier.
“The sense that the problem is all over, I’m afraid.. is a flawed one, we’re still in a vulnerable situation, and there are still significant numbers of people who potentially could be harmed by this infection if this happens.”
Prof Finn said that easing restrictions was a “balancing act”.
He added: “People want to have some kind of certainty and businesses want to know how to plan, but on the other hand I think it’s always been presented as as a provisional timetable, based on what actually happens.
“I think if we do start to see significant rises in cases in some parts of the country, they may need to adjust back those dates in order to avoid the situation coming into effect. It’s a bit hard to be definite about this because by definition it’s uncertain.”
Last night Mr Johnson confirmed that recent data meant that Brits can continue to enjoy the easing of coronavirus restrictions.
Mr Johnson said: “We cannot delude ourselves that Covid has gone away.
“I see nothing in the data now that makes me think we are going to have to deviate in any way from the roadmap cautious but irreversible that we have set out.”
However, the Prime Minister warned that although England will continue on as planned, a third wave is still likely at some point.
He told the press conference at No10: “We must learn to live with this disease.
“But the majority of scientific opinion in this country is still firmly of the view that there will be another wave of covid at some stage this year.
“And so we must – as far as possible – learn to live with this disease, as we live with other diseases.”