By Sally Underwood •
Published: 04 Feb 2021 • 12:22
Good Summer: The UK could make 'significant return to normality' thanks to its vaccines. Image: Photopin
A scientific advisor to the government told one publication the “significant return to normality” could come as most vulnerable members of society are vaccinated and restrictions are phased out.
The government’s chief medical advisor Chris Whitty added to the good news, claiming the UK was “past the peak” of the second wave of the pandemic.
However, Andrew Hayward, director of UCL’s Institute for Epidemiology, said Prime Minister Boris Johnson was “absolutely right to be cautious” in easing restrictions too soon after the premier faced pressure from backbench Conservative MPs to allow children to return to schools.
The news comes after it emerged a government-backed study will see patients received different Covid vaccines for their first and second doses to determine whether this might be more effective.
The study, which as received £7 million (€7.93 million) from the government’s Vaccine Taskforce, will examine whether a mixture of two different vaccines across the first and second dose is more effective than two doses of the same vaccine.
At the same time Health Secretary Matt Hancock will will set out an “operational plan” for hotel quarantines, according to Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi.
Mr Zahawi told one media outlet: “Next week the secretary of state for health will be setting out the operational elements of this policy.
“We will absolutely be setting out how the quarantine hotels will work next week.”
He added: “(There will be) the passenger locator form – you will be refused by the airlines to get on a flight if you haven’t filled in a passenger locator form – so we know exactly where you are, so we can check where you are and that you are quarantined, and you get fined – and I make no apology for the 40,000 fines that we’ve issued already.”
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