England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty told the House of Lords on Friday that social distancing is likely to be necessary for a “long period of time.”
Speaking at the Select Committee on Science and Technology, Whitty said measures like social distancing, washing hands, isolation, contact tracking and face masks were all measures that needed to continue.
“There are issues around distancing, which have been varied but the reality is distancing remains an important part of this mix and how it’s interpreted in different environments has evolved, but it has not gone away,” Whitty said. “So all of those need to continue for a long period of time.”
Whitty said he would be “very surprised” if in four or five months’ time we still had the same coronavirus strategy as we have today. Adding that the government will still require people to isolate if they have symptoms, wear face masks and have local responses to an outbreak.
“In terms of the wider strategy and how we do the maximum damage to the virus to the minimum damage to our society, that will evolve over time,” he said.
Earlier on Friday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson indicated a possible return to normality by “November at the earliest.”
“It is my strong and sincere hope that we will be able to review the outstanding restrictions and allow a more significant return to normality from November at the earliest – possibly in time for Christmas,” Johnson said.