Great Britain

Third wave fears explode as top scientists issue warning ahead of reopening

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The scientists criticised the Government over its decision to press on with plans to reopen retail and hospitality on April 12. They accused ministers of failing their duty to “follow the data, not dates” when it comes to getting the economy started.

The experts said a safer alternative would be to wait until more people have had the coronavirus vaccine.

They pointed out that some areas in the country were still seeing significant rises in Covid-19 cases.

Dr Stephen Griffin, Professor at Leeds University School of Medicine, told the Observer: “There are areas in West Yorkshire, the Black Country and other regions that still have high infection rates.

“However, many people there cannot afford to self-isolate.

Covid latest: High Street

Third wave fears explode as top scientists issue warning ahead of reopening (Image: Getty)

“We need to tackle that issue urgently or the virus will come back again.”

Dr Griffin hit out at the Government over its apparent breach of the promise to base its decisions on data.

He said: “It’s worrying. They are saying one thing and doing another – again.

“There are far too many virus hotspots and not enough attention being paid to controlling infections that might spread from them.”

Professor Lawrence Young of Warwick Medical School voiced concerns that the current measures in place to avoid the transmission from infected patients may not be sufficient.

Covid latest: Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave the green-light to move the UK out of lockdown from tomorrow (Image: Getty)

He told the news outlet: “The test, trace and isolate system that is supposed to contain outbreaks has not worked well, and even when people test positive, they are not isolating.

“We need a properly funded system for quarantining infected people.

“We don’t have that and that raises the risk we could head back into trouble again quite quickly.”

Last week Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave the green-light to move the UK out of lockdown, with pubs, hairdressers and shops set to open.

Addressing a Downing Street press conference, Mr Johnson said: "The net result of your efforts and of course the vaccine rollout is that I can today confirm that from Monday April 12, we will move to step two of our road map.”

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