Lockdown professor '80% sure' that Brits will be able to enjoy summer

15 March 2021, 10:07 | Updated: 15 March 2021, 10:12

Professor Ferguson has spoken about the prospect of a Great British Summer (stock images)
Professor Ferguson has spoken about the prospect of a Great British Summer (stock images). Picture: Getty
Polly Foreman

By Polly Foreman

Professor Neil Ferguson has said that there is a 20 per cent chance new variants could obstruct plans for a lockdown-free summer

A scientist at the forefront of Britain's lockdown policies has said that it's 'highly likely' that Brits will be able to enjoy summer from June.

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Professor Neil Ferguson said that the vaccine rollout and plummeting infections should mean that we'll begin to enjoy summer.

It is hoped that lockdown restrictions will be lifted on June 21 in England (stock image)
It is hoped that lockdown restrictions will be lifted on June 21 in England (stock image). Picture: Getty

However, speaking to the Observer, he did stress that there is a 20 per cent chance mutant Covid strains could pose a threat to plans.

He said: "It is highly likely that we will have driven Covid down to very low levels of case numbers, and we can begin enjoying summer.

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"We will still need to monitor things very carefully and there has yet to be a proper discussion about what we do in autumn.

"Certainly, I think it is highly likely we will have to roll out a booster vaccine to protect against possible new variants.

Professor Ferguson said there is a 20 per cent chance things could 'go wrong'
Professor Ferguson said there is a 20 per cent chance things could 'go wrong'. Picture: PA

"So, while I am optimistic overall, I still think there is a 20% chance things could go wrong – with the possible appearance of dangerous new variants which undermine immunity given by vaccines."

Under Boris Johnson's planned 'roadmap' for England, all legal limits on social contact will be lifted on June 21.

However, while announcing the plans, the Prime Minister did stress that they will be driven by 'data not dates' - and will depend on the following four conditions.

  1. The vaccine deployment continuing successfully
  2. There is evidence that the vaccine is effective in reducing deaths
  3. There isn't a surge in hospitalisation
  4. Assessment of risks are not fundamentally changed by new variants of Covid that cause concern

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