There’s no stopping the second wave of coronavirus, it seems, despite a bundle of new rules designed to do just that, according to the BBC.
Infection rates are rising rapidly, with estimates suggesting up to 100,000 people a day may be catching the virus. Across the Channel, France has admitted its regional approach is not working, by announcing a new national lockdown. Germany, to a lesser extent, is also planning one.
Wales is in the middle of a short “fire-breaker” lockdown, in which bars, restaurants, churches and most shops have shut for a fortnight.
Sir Jeremy Farrar, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), which advises ministers, says it should have happened already – and definitely needs to now. Any delay, he said, will be costly and will mean later restrictions will be “harder and longer”.
Dr Duncan Robertson, a disease modeller at Loughborough University said it’s just a “matter of time” before a lockdown is introduced.
If the virus continues to spread, deaths will rise too, Dr Robertson said.
Robert West, a professor in health psychology, and a government adviser, agrees. He said the rising numbers will have a huge “emotional impact”, forcing a full lockdown.
“I could accept the idea of another lockdown if a vaccine was just around the corner,” said Prof Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine at Oxford University, “but all we are doing is kicking the can down the road”.
“We want to try everything before we think about a national lockdown,” one government source said.
The problem the government and its advisers face is its only autumn and we are at such a critical stage already. The end of winter is a long way away.