Jeremy Vine: Dr Sarah Jarvis issues warning over lockdown ease
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Lockdown restrictions have begun to slowly ease this week with today marking the first stage with two separate households allowed to mix outside. Under the Government’s current exit plan further measures will then be lifted on April 12 and then again in mid-May. But the changes today have come with a warning from Channel 5’s resident health expert Dr Sarah Jarvis who argues people must remain sensible and alert to the threat of coronavirus.
Dr Sarah Jarvis told Jeremy Vine on Channel 5: “We have got to remember that things could go wrong at this stage.
“We know that the vast majority, 30 million people have had their first vaccine out of those 32 million on the top nine groups.
“We have just heart more great data today coming out from care homes suggesting a single dose of either vaccine gives more than 60 percent protection against infections and, this is the one we have been waiting for, almost certainly reduces the chance of you passing it on.
“Really important news and now we have got this finally as you say rightly say very gradual approach.”
The physician added: “Of course it should have gone more slowly before, of course, we shouldn’t have flip-flopped.
“But people have got to remember that if you have a lot of people who have been vaccinated mixing with a lot of people who haven’t been vaccinated and we are still at about 5.4 thousand cases per day on average.
“Going up in the north-west, probably going up in Scotland, possibly going up in Yorkshire and the Humber, stable everywhere else.
“We know what has happened despite schools opening, so good news but if we then go off at full cock now because we can get out and everyone drinks a lot and therefore goes into the house and sits around, makes a cup of tea and forgets they are meant to be outside where the risks are much lower.
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“We could end up back in lockdown.”
From today, the rule changes mean people can meet another five people.
The “rule of six” introduced in 2020 will return, allowing small groups to gather outside.
The rule of six or two households rule also applies to private gardens.
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However, there are concerns the easing of restrictions could lead to a spike in cases, with a third wave of the deadly virus already spreading through the EU.
Tonight, the Prime Minister will urge the public not to abuse the relaxation of the rules and to continue abiding by social distancing rules.
Ahead of his speech, Mr Johnson said: “I know how much people have missed the camaraderie and competition of organised sport, and how difficult it has been to restrict physical activities – especially for children.
“But we must remain cautious, with cases rising across Europe and new variants threatening our vaccine rollout. Despite today’s easements, everyone must continue to stick to the rules, remember hands, face, space, and come forward for a vaccine when called.”
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