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Covid-19: “A few more weeks may be needed before a full exit from lockdown”

Covid-19: “A few more weeks may be needed before a full exit from lockdown”

Covid-19 case rates are rising in more local areas of the UK than at any point since early January, meaning a few more weeks may be needed before a full exit from lockdown .

Nearly three-quarters of UK local authorities (283 out of 380) recorded a week-on-week rise in Covid-19 case rates for the seven days to June 2 – the highest proportion since January 6. In just under half of these places (134), the rise was small enough to be in single figures.

But a growing number of areas are recording sharp jumps in rates, with 28 of them now above symbolic level of 100 cases per 100,000 people – the highest number since the end of March. Some 30 of the 32 local authority areas in London and 35 out of 39 in north-west England are currently recording a week-on-week rise in rates, while in Scotland rates are up in 31 of the 32 council areas.

Added time of “a few more weeks rather than months” may be needed to find out more about the Covid-19 before there is a full exit from lockdown, a scientist has suggested.

Ravi Gupta, a professor of clinical microbiology at University of Cambridge, told BBC Breakfast that options could include a modification of a full exit from lockdown, involving continued mask-wearing in workplaces, and remote working.

He said: “I think that to go completely back to normal may not be in everyone’s best interests".

The Government’s former chief scientific adviser said the Government should roll out the vaccination programme for over-12s “quickly” and rethink the policy on masks in schools.

Sir David King,  who is also chair of the Independent Sage Group, also questioned whether the Government was pressing ahead with a “herd immunity policy” among teenagers.

He told Sky News: “The Pfizer vaccine has already been given the green light in this country to over 12-year-olds. I think we should run that programme forward quickly"

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