England’s chief medical officer said there would be “bumps and twists on the road”, possibly including the emergence of new variants and shortages in vaccine supplies.
His comments came as people across the UK have taken part in a minute’s silence to remember Covid-19 victims after a terrible 12 months. MPs and peers in both Houses of Parliament and ministers in the devolved nations marked the anniversary at midday, while NHS and social care workers also joined the pause for reflection.
Cathedrals in Blackburn, Winchester, Gloucester and York also fell silent in honour of those who have died during the pandemic.
The Queen reflected on the “grief and loss felt by so many” as she paid tribute to the service of health and care workers in a message to St Bartholomew’s Hospital, where the Duke of Edinburgh had heart surgery. Speaking at a public health conference organised by the Local Government Association and Association of Directors of Public Health, Prof Whitty said: “This is a sad day, really.