Author: Claudia Aoraha
This post originally appeared on Breaking UK news and exclusives | The Sun
BORIS Johnson will be told that social distancing at big events can be scrapped after a pilot scheme showed no spike in Covid cases.
Crowds should be able to return without social distancing from June 21, while experts have said older vaccinated people should “get out there and socialise”.
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It comes as people are being “terrified” by messages that things may not ever go back to normal – despite the success of the vaccine rollout.
And after initial results from pilot schemes, the Prime Minister will be told next week that there were no spikes in Covid cases among attendees.
With precautions like staggering entries and good ventilation, crowds can return to large events without distancing – following the monitoring of sports games that have already taken place.
A source familiar with the report, according to the Telegraph, said ministers will be told that the pilots have shown “there are some effective ways to manage risk that could remove the need to have social distancing at events”.
The conclusions will be framed as an “initial view” from scientists – with more pilot events coming next month.
With infections dropping to below 50 per 100,000 people in more than 95 per cent of the UK, ministers say that the lifting of all restrictions is in sight.
BACK TO ‘NORMALITY’
Prof Tim Spector OBE, who leads the ZOE COVID Symptom Study, told the Mirror: “Rates are low, we’re not out of it yet but we can be optimistic.
“We shouldn’t be too worried about meeting people outside. I think we can start to increasingly enjoy life as long as we’re sensible.
“This is reassuring for elderly people who have been isolating for a year and have been double vaccinated, to say: ‘Look guys, your risk is so small, you should get out there and socialise.
“Two elderly vaccinated people should be able to go out and give each other a hug.
“We’re just not being honest in that for people who are double vaccinated the risks are tiny.
“A lot of people are still being terrified by Government messages and may never go back to normal.”
Current coronavirus rules state that you must keep two metres from people outside of your household or support bubble.
But Brits can meet outdoors with six people, as well as drink and dine at al fresco hospitality venues.
But social distancing is set to be in place until June 21 at the earliest, according to Boris Johnson’s roadmap.
Current infection levels are among the lowest to have been recorded by experts at the ZOE Symptom Tracker app, with just 757 infections being logged each day in England.
There are currently 1,046 new symptomatic cases of Covid in the UK on average compared to 1,165 daily cases a week ago.
This is a decrease of 10 per cent from last week and study lead, Prof Spector said that rates are beginning to plateau, moving the UK into a new era of the pandemic.
Three regions also recorded no new infections, these are the East of England, the North East and Northern Ireland.
This comes after Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, said meetings between fully vaccinated people are “incredibly safe”.
He added that England was “extremely close” to allowing people to meet indoors – but that we needed to “hold the line for just a teeny bit longer”.
Professor Van-Tam warned that there would be “bumps in the road” as Covid lockdown restrictions were rolled back.
He said: “I would be highly confident, scientifically, that if those were reputable vaccines, then indeed it would be incredibly safe for those two people to meet.”
He also noted that following the rules would be “frustrating at times for people, particularly those who’ve had their two doses, but we need to make sure we don’t have to go backwards again”.
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“My sense is that probably we are at or close to the bottom at the moment in terms of this level of disease in the UK,” he said.
Professor Van-Tam said it was “inconceivable” that there would be a rise in cases as mixing returned.
However, he said he hoped vaccinations would stop the NHS from being overwhelmed as it was in the winter.