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Government science advisor says bungled England lockdown exit only risks yet another round of restrictions

A government science advisor says lockdown 4 in England is a real possibility.

Professor Stephen Reicher, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours (SPI-B) which advises the Government, says any mistakes made now will have dire consequences.

Asked if there is a danger of another lockdown if the emergence from this one is not handled properly, Prof Reicher told PA: “Of course there is.

“In the same way that we didn’t want a second lockdown, we didn’t want a third lockdown. We’ve repeated the same mistake time after time after time.

“We have had an approach whereby we’ve waited for a long time until we’re in a crisis and we then have to slam on these emergency measures.

“In the end lockdown is the failure of robust and routine measures. If we had a functional track and trace system, if we had support for people to self-isolate, if we had safe spaces, then we wouldn’t have seen things go out of control.”

He said there needs to be a “comprehensive strategy of virus suppression” and that the debate is too focused on lifting restrictions.

He added: “None of it is about keeping infection down when those restrictions have gone, in such a way that we don’t get into trouble all over again.”

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