'The roadmap is good but it's not a slam dunk', Oxford Uni professor warns

6 April 2021, 17:10

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The Government's planned easing of lockdown restrictions in England is 'going according to plan' but caution is required, Professor Peter Horby warns.

The conversation comes after the Prime Minister confirmed non-essential shops, gyms and hairdressers in England can reopen next Monday.

Pubs and restaurants serving outside can also start up again as part of the latest easing of lockdown restrictions.

Oxford University’s Professor Peter Horby, an infectious disease specialist, said he thought "caution is the watchword for the summer," but warned, "we can't afford to spring right back to a bad situation."

He revealed the Government's roadmap was going according to plan, "but it's not a slam dunk."

When Eddie asked the Professor if he thought social distancing and mask-wearing would still be part of our lives, the answer was yes.

Prof Horby, chair of the government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group, warned if the public "really let rip," there was a "danger that we would have to restrict further."

He called for people to continue to be "careful" and "sensible" when the country begins to reopen.

On Monday Boris Johnson said the relaxation of restrictions is "fully justified" but warned the British public not to be complacent.

The PM told a Downing Street press conference: "The net result of your efforts and of course the vaccine rollout is that I can today confirm that from Monday 12 April, we will move to step two of our roadmap.

"Reopening shops, gyms, zoos, holiday campsites, personal care services like hairdressers and of course beer gardens and outdoor hospitality of all kinds.

"And on Monday 12, I will be going to the pub myself and cautiously but irreversibly raising a pint of beer to my lips."

He acknowledged that waves of Covid-19 could still trouble the country, as the virus has done elsewhere, therefore people need to remain cautious.