UK 'unlikely' to ever return to Covid-19 lockdown, professor suggests

1 August 2021, 11:39 | Updated: 1 August 2021, 11:43

By Seán Hickey

Britain's growing herd immunity could mean that the country won't need to enter lockdown again, this scientist claims.

Professor Karl Friston is Professor of Imaging Neuroscience at UCL. He spoke to Tom Swarbrick after authoring a study which concludes the UK is "on the cusp" of reaching herd immunity and thus ending emergency measures.

"I personally think along with many people that it's unlikely that we're going to have to return to lockdown, unless in extremis," he confirmed.

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The professor stressed that as long as we "adjust our behaviours appropriately" in line with social distancing and other measures, we can mitigate further spikes of coronavirus.

He went further to note that changes to office working also becomes an effective "lever that allows us to respond to increasing or decreasing levels of prevalence."

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Tom was apprehensive to react, but stated that "it sounds as if we are as close to out of this as we might be for some time." "That's a very fair summary" Professor Friston confirmed.

"It looks as though now this week we are peaking and things will get better."

He told Tom that "we now know our behaviour can preclude devastating resurgences" and we must be mindful of this as herd immunity grows.

"As long as we are aware of that and continue to commit to good behaviour much like wearing seatbelts when driving, then in principle we could elude any devastating subsequent waves in winter."