Professor Chris Whitty has warned that the country is on the “outer edge of what we can do” as far as opening up society. During a press conference alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Chief Medical Officer said: “We have probably reached near the limits of opening up society.” He added that trade-offs are likely to happen in the future, saying “if we want other areas reopened, we will have to restrict others”.
This comes after the Prime Minister announced that a further easing of restrictions due to come in tomorrow in England is being postponed.
Professor Whitty claimed the “idea that we can open up everything and keep the virus under control” is wrong.
Chris Whitty was also questioned about whether “this is the beginning of a second wave”.
He downplayed fears, saying the rise in infection rates in several parts of the world is not a “second wave”.
He added: “If people increase the number of people they meet, the virus rate will increase inevitably.
“Every society is having to test how fast we can open up.”
It had been expected that venues such as casinos and bowling alleys would reopen from tomorrow.
Live indoor theatre and concerts were also set to resume with socially distanced audiences.
This comes after the UK Government announced further local restrictions in the north of England following a spike in cases.
The restrictions will impact millions of people, banning separate households from meeting each other at home It covers those in Greater Manchester, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Rossendale, Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees.
Speaking on Thursday, Mr Johnson admitted that coronavirus had been “bubbling up” in up to 30 areas across the UK.
He said: “It’s absolutely vital as a country we continue to keep our focus and our discipline and that we don’t delude ourselves that somehow we’re out of the woods or that this is all over because it isn’t all over.”