Boris admits UK already planning for second coronavirus wave after crucial ‘R rate’ rises

Boris admits UK already planning for second coronavirus wave after crucial ‘R rate’ rises

Boris Johnson has shared the Government’s contingency plans for a second wave of coronavirus infections. The Prime Minister was questioned over fears that there could be another spike in positive cases in the autumn months. He warned that “all sorts of measures” were being kept in “reserve” as tools to fight an increase in the R rate. It comes as the ‘R’ rate has slightly increased across England, and nudged near 1 in London.

Mr Johnson said: “Clearly a huge amount of work have been devoted to the possibility of a second wave ever since the disease arrived in this country.

“Our anxiety about the second wave has been very much at the forefront of our minds.

“We will obviously keep all sorts of measures in reserve.”

He confirmed that this included local, regional and national lockdowns.

READ MORE: Leicester lockdown: Mayor Soulsby erupts at ‘frustrating’ No10 demand

He continued: “Of course it has to be, as it were, the ultimate resort.

“We really don’t want to do that again, we really don’t.

“So we will also be looking at other ways in which we can respond to the possibility of a second wave that reflect the vulnerabilities of particular groups and the prevalence of the second wave in certain areas.

“We’ll be bringing forward more detail about exactly how we propose to do that shortly.”

Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance agreed and added the “key” was the make sure that everyone sticks to the rules.

He stressed it was particularly significant now as restrictions continue to ease.

The hospitality sector is being allowed to reopen from Saturday July 4.

Mr Vallance also warned that there will likely be increase in local outbreaks of COVID-19.

The Midlands city of Leicester has already been subjected to the country’s first local lockdown after an increase in infections.

In the Midlands, the R rate remains above one in certain areas and is generally between 0.8-1.

A figure above one means the spread of the virus will increase.

The overall R rate for England has nudged up slightly and is now between 0.8 and 0.9, therefore prompting fears of a significant spike.

Published at Fri, 03 Jul 2020 16:28:00 +0000