A THIRD wave of Covid-19 will engulf the UK in July as restrictions are lifted, one expert has warned.
Holidays abroad have been banned until July and Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously said that every UK adult would have received a first dose of a vaccine by the summer as part of his roadmap out of lockdown.
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Brits are still living through a third national coronavirus lockdown and experts have warned that a third wave could be on the cards in the summerCredit: PA
Under new Covid laws, which were published by ministers yesterday, people across the UK will be officially banned from leaving the country without a reasonable excuse.
Brits are still living through a third national coronavirus lockdown, but children have now returned to the classroom as restrictions begin to ease across the country.
Mr Johnson’s roadmap states that normal life should be able to resume fully by the summer if infections continue to fall in Britain.
However he also this week warned that it was likely that the third wave engulfing Europe would make its way to the UK.
One member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) today warned that there was a “likelihood” that Brits could witness a third wave of the virus in the summer months.
Speaking to Sky News Professor Calum Semple, Professor of Outbreak Medicine at the University of Liverpool said infections could occur in people in the summer who are less susceptible to severe disease.
He said: “The concern at present is that in countries where there’s less vaccination and a very strong third wave, that’s the perfect breeding ground for further variants of concern.
Professor Calum Semple today warned that a third wave in the UK could be possible in the summer months
“So, at this point, Britain has got its act together, the concern is as this third wave is going on elsewhere, that will generate new variations.
“Even within Britain there is a likelihood of a third wave in potentially July and August time when we do unlock society.
“That third wave we would expect to occur in people that are less susceptible to very severe disease.”
Vaccines are currently being rolled out across the UK at breakneck speed.
Over 27.9 million Brits have received a first dose of either the Oxford/AstraZeneca or Pfizer/BioNTech jab, with 2.2 million Brits having had their second.
The jab rollout across Europe stalled after many countries temporarily suspended the use of the the AstraZeneca jabs and vaccine sites were left empty.
Just 10 per cent of adults have received a first vaccine dose in the EU – compared to more than 50 per cent in Britain.
Prof Semple said that it’s “inevitable” that there will be a rise in cases as we start to lift restrictions.
He added: “The key here is have we won the race to vaccinate the most vulnerable members of society so we can keep society open this time.”
He stated that at the start of the outbreak last year, people didn’t understand how fast the virus would spread from place to place.
“It’s incredibly difficult, what as a society we didn’t appreciate, and as a group of scientists what we didn’t appreciate, was that the virus was going to move into the country essentially through British people returning from holidays in Italy, Spain and France.
“The assumption was that it would be more traditional, long-distance foreign travellers coming back in that would bring the virus in, we hadn’t predicted it would be the surge of our own people coming back.”
Boris Johnson yesterday vowed to end lockdown “once and for all” ahead of today’s first anniversary.
The PM warned a third Covid wave in Europe would “wash up on our shores”, but hailed our jabs success and national spirit.
Boris declared he could “bash on” with his route to freedom thanks to our jabs success.
But the stakes could not be higher, with Mr Johnson issuing a stark warning of the third wave sweeping the continent.
The PM told reporters: “Previous experience has taught us that when a wave hits our friends, I’m afraid it washes up on our shores as well and expect we will feel those effects in due course.”
Places such as France and Italy have seen a rise in cases and today German officials imposed another lockdown on citizens in order to curb a rise in infection rates.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there were currently no plans to put all of Europe on the travel “red list” amid a rise in infections in these places.
He added that current border measures would be enough to keep new variants out.
However Dr Hilary Jones today warned that international travel was one of the biggest drivers of infections rates.
He said: “It’s international travel that is transmitting the virus more quickly than anything else. Aircraft and people being able to move very quickly throughout the world.
“We don’t want to go back to the position we were in a year ago, if we are too lax with the regulations we will have another wave, we will have more people in hospital, we will have more deaths again and people will suffer with their mental health, they will suffer with education.
“That’s why it’s really imperative that people take this seriously still and obey the regulations which are set down by the government but are advised by scientists.”
Mr Hancock added that while it was “understandable” that people wanted to go on holiday after a tough year of restrictions, that they would have to “wait and see” when it comes to holidays abroad.