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The UK could soon be hit with a new wave of Covid restrictions, just six months after scrapping them.
A recent rise in Coronavirus infections – which stands at a seven day rolling average of 21,466 – has seen Government ministers panicking about a return to the dark days of 2020 when the country was locked down.
And this week, when questioned about the rise in cases, Lord Syed Kamall warned of restrictions returning sooner rather than later – despite admitting the link between infections and hospitalisations was being broken.
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The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Technology, Innovation and Life Sciences at the Department of Health and Social Care said: “If it gets to a point where it is affecting the backlog then clearly measures may well have to be introduced.
“They [the NHS] are still focusing on the backlog. If it gets to a point where it is affecting the backlog then clearly measures may well have to be introduced.
“We continue to see Covid case rates and hospitalisations rising in all age groups, with the largest increases in hospitalisations and ICU admissions in those aged 75 and older.
“The largest proportion of those hospitalised are for reasons other than Covid, however, Covid is identified due to the increasing case rates in the community and the high rate of testing in hospital, including among those with no respiratory systems.”
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He didn't specify what exact restrictions could be reintroduced, but the lowest stage of imposition would see face masks return to indoor spaces and regular lateral flow tests needed before going anywhere.
It is, however, unlikely that outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson would look to tarnish his impeccable legacy by introducing new restrictions on the way out of the door, despite warning back in February that, should the need arise, restrictions could be re-imposed.
The UK is currently one of the only European countries to be 100% free of all restrictions, including on incoming and outgoing travel, as the use of face masks on flights was ditches in March.
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