'Play your part' to prevent lockdown

Publication Date13 September 2021
Professor Tim Spector, who leads the ZOE Covid Symptom Study app, has said that regional restrictions might return in areas where the virus is surging as flu season approaches.

Covid rates in the North East have begun to climb again and officials are bracing themselves for a new spike caused by the return of schools and university students, as well as more people going back to office working.

Prof Eugene Milne, director of public health for Newcastle, said: "We know that lockdowns are effective at slowing the spread of Covid-19, preventing people from requiring hospital treatment and protecting the most vulnerable from becoming seriously ill.

"But we also know they are incredibly disruptive to people's lives, they have a significant impact on our wellbeing and, without the right levels of support, are damaging to a wide range of industries.

"With the added protection of vaccines and with a significant number of people continuing to take the precautions of social distancing, face coverings, and handhygiene, we're not at a stage where lockdowns are required at either a national or local level.

"But as we look ahead to the impact of schools and universities returning, and with more people going into their places of work, there is a real risk that infection rates will again rise.

"None of us wants to go back to lockdowns if we can possibly avoid doing so."

The city health chief added that it was "hugely important" for people to get vaccinated if they are not already, but that even then it remains essential to remain cautious.

He said: "Our best chance of avoiding additional restrictions is if we all play our part to minimise that danger by...

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