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Scientists warn vaccinations "are not good enough" for life to go back to normal on June 21.
According to Boris Johnson's roadmap out of lockdown which was unveiled in February, June 21 has been pencilled in as the earliest date for all coronavirus measures to be scrapped.
However senior SAGE sources reportedly claim "baseline measures" must be in place for another year to avoid a "big epidemic", the Mirror reports.
In papers released by SAGE, the government advisory group was said to be confident that due to vaccinations, easing lockdown restrictions on April 12 would not pile pressure on the NHS.
SAGE said in the minutes of a March 29 meeting, published on Monday: “Any resurgence in hospital admissions and deaths following Step 2 of the Roadmap alone is highly unlikely to put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.”
But the advisory panel claims that if the later stages of the roadmap are stuck to, it is "highly likely that there will be a further resurgence in hospitalisations and deaths."
SAGE cited work compiled by the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M), which looked at models made by Imperial College London, Warwick University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
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SPI-M said that a new peak could occur in summer or autumn, and that its timing and size would depend on how people behave after restrictions end.
“It is highly likely that there will be a further resurgence in hospitalisations and deaths after the later steps of the Roadmap,” SPI-M said.
Most scenarios saw any new peak as smaller than the one in January 2021 but more pessimistic assumptions about transmission reduction and vaccine effectiveness “can result in resurgences in hospitalisations of a similar scale to January 2021.”
The modelling did not account for the possible emergence of vaccine-escaping variants or looser travel rules, the Mirror reports.
It comes as a further 26 coronavirus deaths were recorded in the UK and 2,762 more infections – as those testing positive plunged by 40 per cent in a week.
The death figure is a rise on last Monday when 23 fatalities were recorded, though a drop on the 4,654 cases.
- Boris Johnson
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