U.K. Virus Restrictions Could Last Until Easter, Sky News Says

The U.K.’s Covid-19 restrictions won’t likely be lifted until Easter next year, Sky News reported, citing unidentified senior sources.

The government’s scientific advisers have warned Prime Minister Boris Johnson and senior ministers about the need for prolonged measures, Sky News said. The sources told Sky that restrictions could continue into April even if vaccination for Covid-19 began at the end of January.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier warned of “long months ahead” in the fight against the coronavirus, as his government put most of England into the highest two tiers of new restrictions when a lockdown lifts next week. Leading members of Johnson’s Conservative Party have said the government’s new three-tier system is too harsh because it groups broad regions together, even if some areas are not hot-spots.

After a surge of infections this fall, the latest data indicate the virus is no longer spreading exponentially in the U.K. For the first time since Aug. 14, the so-called R-rate, which estimates how many people each infected person passes the disease onto, had a ceiling of 1, the government said Friday.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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