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14th Nov 2020

New vaccine could cause complacency as England faces “crucial” two weeks

Simon Lloyd

“They’re going to be a very challenging two weeks”

A government scientific adviser has described the next two weeks as being “absolutely crucial” in determining if England’s lockdown will end on December 2, as is currently the plan.

New lockdown measures were brought in at the beginning of November across the country to attempt to control the spread of coronavirus as infection rates began to soar.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4‘s Today programme, Professor Susan Michie said it was imperative the public adhere to the current lockdown rules to give themselves a chance of  spending the Christmas period with family and loved ones. She also warned that recent positive news about a vaccine potentially being on the horizon could lead to some becoming complacent.

“They’re going to be a very challenging two weeks, partly because of the weather, partly because, I think, the promise of a vaccine may be making people feel complacent,” said Prof Michie, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).

Despite the vast majority of the country’s population sticking to recently imposed lockdown measures, a string of reports have shown examples of breaches across the country.

On Friday evening, Sussex Police confirmed they had shut down a gathering of around 50 people at a community centre in Brighton.

Officers were called to Providence Place by a member of the public who had notified them of a potential breach of restrictions, with a section 34 dispersal order issued to those in attendance soon after.