SAGE experts have cast doubt on the prospects of returning to normal by June 21 which was the date previously proposed for a full lifting of lockdown restrictions. A series of reviews published this afternoon suggested the relaxation could spark a fourth peak in the outbreak
The paper indicated that ‘baseline measures’, including some form of social distancing and masks, would need to be in place until this time next year.
Senior SAGE sources said that vaccines ‘are not good enough’ to see all restrictions lifted. The advisory panel believes it is ‘highly likely that there will be a further resurgence of hospitalisations and deaths’.
They also said the reopening of pubs, cinemas and indoor hospitality – due to happen on May 17 – could be delayed if vaccine uptake in the under-50s drops below 85%.
Meanwhile, a government analysis said that COVID passports are ‘likely to become a feature of life’. Boris Johnson wants COVID passports in place by June 21 – but previously promised a Commons vote on their introduction. He faces the potential of an embarrassing defeat after MPs are gearing up to stop them from becoming law.