Britain told to 'learn to live' with coronavirus for 'several years' until vaccine is found, says officials
19 May 2020, 08:31 | Updated: 19 May 2020, 08:36
England's deputy chief medical officer said we'll only be 'out of this' once a vaccine has been found for COVID-19.
During Monday's daily coronavirus press conference, England's deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam told the public it would take a vaccine "really capable of suppressing disease levels" for the country to be truly "out of this".
With this in mind, he warned Brits that we may have to "learn to live" with the virus for the "long-term", which could be several years yet.
England has been in lockdown since March 23, with restrictions only easing slightly last week.
Schools are set to reopen across England in June, while people who cannot work from home are being encouraged to return to work.
However, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam has warned that there could be a second wave in COVID-19 as we enter the autumn and winter months later this year.
While he said further information was needed over the seasonality of the virus, he explained: "One of the things that's very clear with flu viruses is that they come in our cold winters and the levels of transmission and circulation decline over the summer months.
"The data we have on other coronaviruses we have looked at very carefully, and it's not clear that these coronaviruses are as seasonal as influenza.
"But there may be an element of seasonality and it may well be that the autumn and winter conditions provide a better environment for the virus to then do its work again."
Recently, the Government announced they would be expanding the amount of people who could get tested for COVID-19.
From Monday May 19, anyone aged five and over, who is showing symptoms of coronavirus, can apply to get tested.