‘The UK will have to maintain a “significant level” of social distancing until a coronavirus vaccine has been developed, a scientific adviser to the government has warned.
Professor Neil Ferguson, whose modelling of covid-19 has informed Downing Street’s strategy, insisted that ministers needed to “accelerate” exit decisions from the current lockdown.
The epidemiologist also urged the government to implement the same level of organisation across Whitehall as experienced in preparations for Brexit – another “national emergency”.
His remarks come as Dominic Raab – the foreign secretary deputising for Boris Johnson in his absence – prepares to announce a three-week extension to the severe restrictions on British public life this evening.
Asked about easing the measures, professor Ferguson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think the other thing I would say is that it really requires a single-minded emphasis in government and the health system on scaling up testing and putting in place the ability to track down cases in the community and contact-trace.’
Read more: ‘Significant level’ of social distancing should be maintained until vaccine developed, says Professor Prat (or worse) who caused the human catastrophe and should be in jail for gross incompetence (or worse)