Britain is just over two weeks into a government-imposed lockdown to protect the public from the coronavirus pandemic.

The reaction across the UK has been mixed, with most people following the rules and doing their best to be responsible but some have been looking for loopholes or ignoring the restrictions.

Getting used to the new normal is difficult work for many, daily routines are in tatters and most Brits face being stuck at home for a significant portion of the year.

People can bear much hardship as long as there's a point where it ends and it could significantly help if the public had some indication of just how long they are going to have to live like this.

Just how long will people have to wait until things go back to normal and the threat of the coronavirus passes?

The Claim

Dr Jenny Harries, England's deputy chief medical officer, has said it could be six months before life returns to normal .

She clarified that it didn't mean Brits would be on lockdown for a continuous period of six months, instead it would be a process where restrictions were adjusted in accordance with scientific advice with a view to gradually restoring normality.

The figure of six months isn't one to treat as being set in stone, the actual period of restrictions could be a little bit shorter or a substantial amount longer depending on how the pandemic progresses across the UK.

It helps provide the public with a rough timetable, communicating to people that they will be living with coronavirus for a significant amount of time and shouldn't expect the situation to revert to normal within a matter of weeks.

There's only so long people can bear isolation and lockdown but having a rudimentary timescale at least helps. It's better to have some idea of what's going on than being asked to live in lockdown indefinitely.

The Counter Claim

However, Dr Ali Nouri, president of the Federation of American Scientists, said there couldn't be a "magic date" where people could go back out again because recovering from the coronavirus will depend on a vaccine being developed.

He said things would need to be different until proper treatment was available, noting that it could be at least a year before a vaccine was made available.

Dr Nouri suggested that a lockdown would probably be in place for months and a slow, steady return to normal life could take plenty of time.

As far as normal goes, we may never fully return to the way life was before the pandemic. Many of the measures introduced to tackle Covid-19 will be hard to repeal and the way the world is run could be significantly changed.

For example, will the government simply order all of the homeless they are currently providing accommodation for in hotels and offices back onto the streets once the coronavirus is gone?

Some of the measures deemed necessary to maintain the new normal during the pandemic could be considered too important to dispense with after the virus.

The Facts

It's simply not safe to let everyone get back to their normal lives at the first indication of the coronavirus receding.

The lockdown protects people from Covid-19 because it keeps them away from the virus, if it succeeds in significantly slowing the spread of the disease and normal life resumes then all those people who had been protected will be at risk once again.

Efforts to avoid a second spike in coronavirus cases involve not lifting restrictions and returning to a normal life for a long period of time.

The longer the lockdown goes on the bigger impact it will have on the mental health of those living under it.

People are significantly less happy and content than they were a month ago , while they are more stressed, frustrated, scared, sad and bored.

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The top emotion among Brits at the moment is stress, with 48 per cent of the public saying they have felt under stress in the past week.

We are little over two weeks into a lockdown that could last months and it will be a significant amount of time before the world returns to normal.

However, polling indicates that an increasing amount of people would actually support tighter lockdown measures. 46 per cent of Brits think the government's restrictions are at the correct level but the same percentage believe the lockdown needs to be tougher and it rose from 38 per cent at the start of April.