Masks and Social Distancing Could Remain for Years in the UK

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The head of immunization at Public Health England, Mary Ramsay, said that masks and social distancing could remain the standard until other countries successfully vaccinate.

She said, “people have got used to those lower-level restrictions now, and people can live with them, and the economy can still go on with those less severe restrictions in place”. Dr. Ramsay continued, “So I think certainly for a few years, at least until other parts of the world are as well vaccinated as we are, and the numbers have come down everywhere, that is when we may be able to go very gradually back to a more normal situation.”

Chris Whitty, the UK government’s chief medical adviser, said “simple interventions like washing hands, face masks where appropriate, test-and-trace, and above all vaccines” would help the UK keep the virus controlled. The chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance, echoed these messages about face masks when he said masks would be needed if cases rose in the winter.

England’s roadmap has their social contact limit restrictions easing up on June 21.  On March 29 people will be able to meet outdoors and outdoor sports facilities will be able to open up.

Sir Paul Nurse, chief executive of the Francis Crick Institute, believes there should be an investigation into the first five months of the pandemic, particularly the slowness of the government to respond. “We should have a rapid investigation of the first part of the pandemic – January to June – so we can learn the lessons and be bettered prepared for the future,” he said.

For more updates be sure to check back with the ABN Blog regularly.

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