Removing coronavirus restrictions at the end of next month would be a “disaster” and put “enormous pressure” on the NHS, a Sage scientist has warned.
Professor John Edmunds told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think it would be a disaster if we removed restrictions in, say, the end of February when we have gone through this first wave of the vaccination.
“First of all vaccines aren’t ever 100% protective, and so even those that have been vaccinated would be still at some risk.
“If we relaxed our restrictions we would immediately put the NHS under enormous pressure again.”
It came as the World Health Organisation warned that while measures like social distancing are working, we have to do them better.
Dr Margaret Harris told the BBC: “The public health measures that we know work: the distancing, not gathering in large numbers, understanding who has the virus and who has not, keeping the two apart, all those measures do work.
“They work over and over again in a number of countries, so we have to do them better.
“Some of the actions at the borders, like testing people, quarantining people, understanding where they’re coming from, are all part of ensuring who has the virus, who has not and keeping them apart.”