Boris Johnson is warning that a second wave of coronavirus has arrived in the UK, as scientists reported the “widespread growth” of the virus across the country.
The Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said the R number – representing the number of people an infected person will pass the virus to – has risen to between 1.1 and 1.4, meaning cases could rise very quickly.
As ministers announced tough new restrictions affecting 13.5 million people, Mr Johnson said they would “keep everything under review”.
“There’s no question, as I’ve said for several weeks now, that we could expect (and) are now seeing a second wave coming in,” he told reporters during a visit to the Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre construction site near Oxford.
“We are seeing it in France, in Spain, across Europe – it has been absolutely, I’m afraid, inevitable we were going to see it in this country.”
Public Health England (PHE) warned that data published on Friday could be a sign of “far worse things to come”, as the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said cases are thought to have almost doubled in a week to 6,000-a-day in England.
Read more: The worst kept secret in history – Johnson says ‘second wave inevitable’ – I said this and called the time in April because it’s a script. Watch my live-stream at 5pm UK today to see what is really going on