British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated, Thursday evening, that the lockdown could last until Summer, as experts warned that relaxation of rules could trigger new Covid-19 wave.
Johnson said that it was too soon to know when measures would be relaxed, as leading scientists warned that the early lifting of restrictions may result in a “disastrous” resurgence of Covid-19.
Although UK is making strong progress in its vaccine rollout, experts have insisted that the vaccine should not be dealt with as a “magic bullet”.
A professor of epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh Mark Woolhouse stated that under the most optimistic assumptions regarding the vaccine rollout, it will take several months before the herd immunity threshold (HIT) is reached in the UK.
“It’s quite possible we will get a resurgence,” Woolhouse mentioned during a briefing on Thursday. “There’s no possibility up to phase one [of the rollout] that we’ve reached the herd immunity threshold and … there are still vulnerable people in the population who may get infected.”
On her part, Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced a new £800 fine for those who flout the current lockdown rules to attend house parties.
During tonight’s Downing Street press conference, Patel affirmed that the fine will be imposed on individuals, attending illegal gatherings of more than 15 people in private homes, with each additional offence doubling to a maximum level of £6,400.
While strict lockdown is imposed in the UK and household mixing is banned, the Home Secretary said that “there is still a small minority who refuse to do the right thing.”
We're introducing a new £800 fine for those attending 𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐬.
This will double for each repeat offence up to a maximum of £6,400.
At this crucial time, please stay home.
Protect the NHS. Save lives. pic.twitter.com/Y4zNBhmZAz
— Priti Patel (@pritipatel) January 21, 2021
“Such irresponsible behaviour poses a significant threat to public health,” she said. “Not only to those in attendance, but also to our wonderful police officers who attend these events to shut them down.”