Government and public need to be vigilant over lockdown easing - The Yorkshire Post says

It seems certain that July 19 will mark the end of most Covid restrictions, including the compulsory wearing of face coverings and maintaining social distancing, as the Government presses forward with returning life to as normal as possible.

Even though there are reservations about this amongst some in the scientific and medical communities, it is a move likely to be welcomed by the public, not least because it is an acknowledgement that at some point the country has to start learning to live with coronavirus.

The public’s common sense must be trusted to play an important part in allowing normal life to resume, whilst at the same time keeping rates of infections at a manageable level.

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The outstanding success of the vaccination programme means there are now high levels of immunity, and there is consensus that inoculations have broken the link between infections and high numbers of people dying or becoming seriously ill.

People wearing face masks watch a street entertainer in Covent Garden, London
People wearing face masks watch a street entertainer in Covent Garden, London

Booster jabs for the most at-risk groups are likely to be administered this autumn, which will hopefully maintain the downward pressure on the numbers of cases.

Although infection rates remain high, the number of hospital admissions is relatively low amongst the vaccinated and there is, thankfully, no current sign of the NHS being overwhelmed.

Nevertheless, both Government and public need to remain vigilant for any signs of increasing numbers of people falling seriously ill, and if that happens it may yet become necessary to tighten restrictions once more.

What is certain is that Covid is going to be with us for the foreseeable future, and the likelihood of new variants makes its progress hard to predict.

Challenges undoubtedly lie ahead, but for now the evidence – and public sentiment – point to it being right to ease restrictions.