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30 March 2020, 11:18
It could be six months before life in the UK returns to “normal”, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll be on complete lockdown for six months.
At the moment the UK, like most of the globe, is in ‘lockdown’ in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus, a measure which will be reviewed in three weeks – but what is the duration of the lockdown?
During the government’s daily briefing conference, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Jenny Harries said life in the UK might not return to normal until six months time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll be in lockdown throughout this time.
The strict measures in place will at some point gradually start to lift, but things won’t go back to how they were for quite some time as strict social distancing measures will have to remain in place for “three to six months”.
Dr Harries explained: “The issue of the three weeks is to review where we are and see if we’ve had an impact jointly on the slope of that curve.
“But to make it clear to the public, if we are successful we will have squashed the top of that curve which is brilliant but we must not suddenly return to our normal way of living that would be quite dangerous… all of our efforts would be wasted and we could potentially see a second peak.”
The Deputy Chief Medical Officer said the government are continuing to review the measures in place to track how the nation’s self-isolation methods are affecting the spread of the virus.
Dr Harries continued: “Over time, probably over the next six months, we will have a three-week review, we’ll see where we’re going, we’ll need to keep that lid on and gradually we’ll be able to hopefully adjust some of the social distancing measures and gradually get us all back to normal.
“So I think, three weeks for review, two or three months to see if we’ve really squashed it but about three to six months ideally, but lots of uncertainty in that.
“But then to see at which point at which point we can actually get back to normal. But it is plausible it could go further than that, we just need to see how successful we’ve been.”
It comes as Professor Neil Ferguson, who has been advising the government on the pandemic, said the coronavirus in the UK is beginning to show early signs of slowing down as a result of the lockdown measures.