England unlikely to need ‘full-blown lockdown’ this winter, leading expert says

A giant television over the A57 Motorway urges people to stay home on March 26, 2020 in Manchester, England. (Getty Images)

England is unlikely to need a “full-blown lockdown” this winter as Covid cases fell to their lowest level since the start of July last week, a leading virus expert has said.

Professor Neil Ferguson, an epidemiologist and member of SAGE, said he was “moderately optimistic” about not needing strict restrictions with no surge yet recorded after children returned to school.

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‘I’m moderately optimistic’

He added that while social distancing could come back if there was a “significant uptick” in hospital admissions, there was unlikely to be a “full-blown lockdown”.

Professor Ferguson said: “We can’t rule out some need for additional measures, but I very much doubt we will need to go back into lockdown again.”

“As long as we can roll out the booster programme and the vaccination of teenagers as promptly as possible, I’m moderately optimistic,” he added.

Latest Covid figures in England

The number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in England has dropped to its lowest level since the end of June.

A total of 161,923 people tested positive at least once in the week to September 15, down 22% on the previous week, according to the latest Test and Trace figures.

This is the lowest number of people testing positive since the week to June 30.

Test and Trace figures peaked at 390,234 cases in the week to January 6, at the height of the second wave of coronavirus.

A version of this article originally appeared on NationalWorld.com