It came as the World Health Organisation said restrictions should be lifted slowly and not “all at once” to avoid a resurgence of the virus, and only if appropriate measures are in place, including “significant” capacity for contact tracing.
But experts have also warned that the public’s strong support to stick to the lockdown measures “won’t last” and the Government needs to find a way to tell the nation about how it will be eased.
Professor Linda Bauld, of the University of Edinburgh, said the public was now steeling itself for a continuation of the lockdown, amid an atmosphere where support for the measures remains high, compliance is generally good and concern about the virus is at the forefront of people’s minds.
“But this won’t last,” she warned.
“The social, economic and health effects of lockdown are accumulating.
“There will come a tipping point when the cost of the current restrictions outweighs the benefits.”
She added: “Sooner rather than later, the government needs to share the possible options with the public and be transparent about the costs and benefits of each, rather than continually evading questions on this, as is currently the case.”
The Government has also faced criticism over whether more lives could have been saved if the lockdown had been implemented earlier, as the Department for Health said 11,329 people had died in hospitals in the UK as of 5pm on Sunday, with many more expected in care homes.
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