UK may suffer third wave of Covid-19 as scientific adviser in chilling warning

The UK could face a third wave of coronavirus and lockdown will not solve the problem, a Government scientific adviser has warned.

Professor Mark Woolhouse, a member of SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) said Covid-19 returning again was "entirely possible".

Asked about the potential scenario on Andrew Marr's BBC show, the epidemiologist said: "That's entirely possible. A scenario I mentioned earlier does actually include this possibility.

"This is just another demonstration that lockdown doesn't solve the problem, it defers it.

"That is why we need some kind of cavalry on the horizon or, alternatively, if we think that vaccine is not going to be available in six months, or 12 months or two years or whenever it may be, that we do need alternatives.

He warned "mass testing" could be one of the few alternatives to a vaccine if the country is to avoid a third spike of the killer virus.

The Edinburgh University professor also revealed the government "basically" did not model any response other than a lockdown in March. He added: "That is a worry."

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced a raft of new restrictions to tackle the UK's "inevitable" second wave of coronavirus, with a steep rise in the infection rate plunging 17 million Britons into local lockdowns.

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Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden insisted there was "definitely science" behind the new 10pm curfew on hospitality venues, which started on Thursday night.

He said: "There is definitely science behind it, that's why we're requiring people to be seated in pubs and restaurants, so that stops the flow of them to and from the bar.

"We are reducing the closing times to stop people staying later and drinking. And the point about all of this is that everyone has their part to play.

"If we all play by the rules, we can ensure that there are not further, more draconian restrictions."

On Saturday police in London were forced to break up an anti-lockdown protest after demonstrators failed to socially distance. Thousands of people turned out for the rally.

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