UK coronavirus social distancing to be in place for at least six months ‘could go further’

UK coronavirus social distancing to be in place for at least six months ‘could go further’

Speaking at the Government’s press conference today, England’s deputy medical officer Jenny Harries, warned measures could be extended in order to help deal with the outbreak of the virus. Although Ms Harries said the measures were taking effect, it is not certain how long they will last for. Asked if the measures could be extended, she added the three-week timeline was for the Government to review restrictions and to evaluate if they have reduced the death rate in the UK. 

Asked to confirm the timeline of social distancing, Ms Harries insisted she had not stated the UK will definitely be in lockdown for six months.

But rather, that social distancing measures may need to be in place for longer and will be reviewed on a three-weekly basis over the next few months. 

She also said an instant resumption of normal life after such strict measures would be quite dangerous. 

She said: “If we stop then all of our efforts will be wasted.


“Over time, probably over the next six months, we will probably have a three-week review.

“We will see where we’re going. 

“We need to keep that lid on and gradually we may look to lift those social distancing measures.

“This is a moving target.”

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He said: “If we all follow the measures, there is every reason to believe we can turn the tide of the virus.

“Of course, if those measures prove insufficient or the public are not complying, then we will have to consider further options but that is not our intention.

“Nobody is pretending this will be over in a few weeks.

“But what the prime minister said in the past, and what I will reiterate today, is if we all play our part, if we all follow the very clear medical advice then we can turn the tide of this virus.”

Today it was confirmed that the first NHS frontline worker had died after contracting COVID-19. 

The Unversity Hospitals of Derby and Burton confirmed, consultant Amged El-Hawrani, 55 died on Saturday night. 

Following his death, Mr Jenrick was quizzed on the amount of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that will be sent to NHS workers. 

Speaking at the press conference, Mr Jenrick confirmed a huge operation was underway to send out PPE equipment. 

He said: “We simply cannot and should not ask people to be on the frontline without the right protective equipment.”

Published at Sun, 29 Mar 2020 15:29:00 +0000