Face masks and social distancing set to continue after July 19, WHO expert warns


PProfessor Stephen Reicher, of the University of St Andrews and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) on Behavioral Sciences, said the country was at risk of repeating the mistakes of last summer.

He told Times Radio: “My fear is that we are in line to repeat the mistakes of last summer – if you remember the Prime Minister told us it was our patriotic duty to go to the pub. , that people would have to go to work or they risked losing their jobs, we had to eat in restaurants to help them.

“The consequence was that we never had infections low enough to be able to cope with the disease and so when conditions changed in the fall, when schools returned and people returned to work and universities went back and the weather got worse and we went inside so infections increased.

“And I think this time around we should learn from that and we should reduce infections to a point where we’re in a much better place in the fall, where we don’t have to reimpose restrictions.

“So I think the real question is how can we do this without disturbing people too much? “

He said the test and trace are still not working properly or reaching people quickly enough, and pointed to the lack of support for people to self-isolate.

He added: “It seems to me that if we took the basic public health measures to suppress the infection, we wouldn’t be talking about a high reservoir of infection which can then increase very quickly when conditions change.”


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