Experts Say Large Gathering Restrictions Could Remain for “Next Few Years”

Experts Say Large Gathering Restrictions Could Remain for "Next Few Years"

CREDIT: "Spectators watching the Cross-country chase at the Cheltenham Festival" by Carine06 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Experts Say Large Gathering Restrictions Could Remain for “Next Few Years”.

TIM SPECTOR, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, told Times Radio that he “can’t see us suddenly having another Cheltenham Festival with no regulations again.”

The New Year’s Day Cheltenham Festival horse racing meeting, which had seven races scheduled, was abandoned due to heavy rain this year, which many people were relieved about because of fears that huge gathering would mean a further spread of COVID contagious.

Spectators are currently banned from attending sporting events and large weddings cannot take place under existing restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus.

“I can’t see us having massive weddings with people coming from all over the world, I think for the next few years those days are gone,” he added.

Prof Spector, who created the Zoe Covid Symptom Study, said things like physical distancing, face masks and handwashing “don’t cost really anything to do” so should remain in place.

“I think we need to get used to that and that will allow us to do the things we really want to do more easily and more readily,” he said.

The professor, whose Zoe Covid Symptom Study said back in May that they had identified 14 symptoms including muscle pain and headaches, indicated that an infection study showed that coronavirus rates are “generally much lower everywhere” in the country, with around one in 170 people infected on average.

Spector said the UK government should “definitely encourage” the rule of six allowing people to meet outdoors to coincide with the gradual reopening of schools.

UK Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi thinks that the government can seriously look at a gradual reopening of UK schools in the first week of March.

“Mid-February, if you add another three weeks to that when the vaccine protection really does begin to kick in, you’re at the first week of March,” Zahawi told Sky News on February 4.

When asked about whether private gardens were safer than outdoor pubs or restaurants, Prof Spector said that “actually sometimes a beer garden is more controlled than people’s homes and gardens”.

“Generally most establishments are well behaved and I think they clean the tables and people keep their distance and I see no reason why we couldn’t move towards that in places that are well set up for it,” he said.

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Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at