Neil Ferguson stuns BBC’s Dan Walker with dire Covid warning ‘Virus here forever?’
Coronavirus pandemic ‘will cause long term changes’ says expert
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Former SAGE member Neil Ferguson appeared on BBC Breakfast to discuss the lockdown restrictions and vaccination programme but was asked his opinion on what would happen after coronavirus restrictions were lifted. Prof Ferguson said it was quite possible that many would continue abiding by rules and behaviours during the pandemic for a long time like mask-wearing or keeping distant from one another. He explained the pandemic had been a “traumatic event” for the UK and it would take a long time for people’s behaviour to change.
Appearing on BBC Breakfast, host Dan Walker asked the professor: “And looking forward and we were hearing over the weekend that suggestions that some of the things we are going through now won’t change for a long time like the wearing of face masks, social distancing.
“Do you see that as being an ongoing process something that we just get used to?”
Professor Ferguson replied: “So I suspect, later this year, the mandates the legal requirements to do some of those things will have gone.
“I think there’s an interesting question as to whether people’s behaviour changes as quickly I mean people have gotten used to being very cautious around each other and used to wearing masks, I can’t predict how quickly that will change or whether we’ve actually seen a permanent change in society, to some degree.”
The response had Mr Walker question: “So we might be living with coronavirus forever?”
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Neil Ferguson also told the BBC he would advise the Government to not have foreign travel until late this summer.
It comes as Tory frontbencher Lord Bethell warned all of Europe could be placed on the travel red list amid rising COVID-19 cases and variants.
But Health Secretary Matt Hancock downplayed the comments and told LBC that the Government has no plans to do so yet.
The Government however will introduce a £5,000 fine to anyone found leaving the UK without an approved reason.
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New COVID-19 variants and cases now grip the continent as France and Germany implement tough lockdown measures to slow the spread.
President Emmanuel Macron put in place a four-week national lockdown after being pressured by local leaders and by hospitals reaching capacity.
Angela Merkel extended lockdown measures for three-weeks over Easter as the country also struggles with new Covid variants.
Both countries also played down the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine and paused its rollout due to blood clot fears.
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