THE UNITED KINGDOM is preparing to enter its third week of containment, with people responsible for staying at home to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
But how long is it likely to last and who will decide when and how to end the restrictions?
– When will the UK end the foreclosure?
It is not yet known when the UK will be able to lift its strict social distancing and foreclosure measures.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to review the measures for the first time next week, but asked about an exit strategy at Saturday’s daily press conference, Michael Gove said: There is no set point, no of specific date in the calendar to which we can say that things will change, we keep them under review.
A key government doctor said certain measures could be in place for up to six months.
Assistant Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jenny Harries said about the rules last week: “Three weeks for examination, two or three months to see if we really crushed it, but three to six months, ideally, but a lot of uncertainty about it but then to see how much we can really get back to normal and it is plausible that it could go further.
“That doesn’t mean we will be locked out for six months, but as a nation, we have to be really, really responsible and keep doing what we all do until we are sure we can gradually begin to lift various interventions that are likely to be spaced out – based on science and our data – until we gradually return to a normal lifestyle. “
What should happen before the lockout ends?
Ministers and scientists are reluctant to say what requirements need to be met before relaxing the rules, and always stress the importance of maintaining social distance.
Business secretary Alok Sharma has warned that there could be a further increase in cases if the measures are lifted too quickly.
He said at a press conference on Wednesday: “What is also very important is that if we stop them too quickly, it is possible that the massive efforts that people have made across the country will be wasted and we could potentially see a dangerous second peak.
“We absolutely want to avoid this. “
A scientist has suggested that cellphone data could help bridge social distance more quickly by speeding up contact tracing.
Professor Martin Hibberd, professor of emerging infectious diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “A combination of certain social distancing measures, extensive testing and automated contact tracing could allow both social activity more regular and significant control of the epidemic. “
Who will decide when the lock will end?
The decision to end the foreclosure in the UK will be taken by the government alongside scientists and doctors.
When the measures were put in place last month, the Prime Minister said that they would be reviewed every three weeks.
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS chief doctor, said that scientists are still focusing on how the disease works.
He said on Saturday, “It is very likely that this virus will become established in populations around the world, so we need a strategy to manage this over time, not just in the coming weeks or months.
“Scientific knowledge about this virus is yet to be discovered.
“As we learn more about this, as the scientific evidence accumulates, these strategies may evolve.
A government scientist told The Times that the closure was only saving time and that there was no clear strategy to end the Covid-19 crisis.
Professor Graham Medley said, “This disease is so nasty that we had to completely eradicate it. Then we sort of painted ourselves in a corner, because then the question will be, what do we do now ?.
“We will have made three weeks of this lockdown, so there is a big decision to come on April 13. In general terms will we continue to harm children to protect the vulnerable, or not? “
Have other countries ended the lockdown?
China has started to lift the measures, with the opening of shopping centers and the departure of Wuhan, the original epicenter of Covid-19.
However in Europe, many countries are extending the rules.
On Saturday, Spain extended its own measures until at least April 25, and in France, the rules will be in effect until April 15 at least, with a second extension planned.
The foreclosure of Italy will last until at least April 13.