A group of scientists which advise the UK government over the handling of the coronavirus outbreak have warned against lifting restrictions as the coming weeks “may lead to a small surge of cases and deaths”.
Minutes from a meeting with members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) published on Tuesday warned there could be a rise in cases “of a similar scale to January 2021 after later stages” of the route out of lockdown, reports dpa news agency.
The warning was made despite the UK’s success with its vaccine rollout, which has seen more than 31.5 million people receive their first dose of the vaccine and 5.4 million receive both doses so far.
Scientists from the university Imperial College London said due to eligibility, vaccine hesitancy and the high transmissibility of the circulating Covid-19 variant, “vaccination alone will not be sufficient to keep the epidemic under control”. They advised the best way for Britain to keep hospitalisations and deaths at a low level would mean keeping restrictions at stage two the planned easing beyond April 12, but it depends on people sticking to the rules.