Top UK Health Adviser Warns Social Distance Guidelines May Continue All Year

A commuter, wearing PPE (personal protective equipment) as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, stands at a tube station London on April 22, 2020, as Britain remains under lockdown during the novel coronavirus C... A commuter, wearing PPE (personal protective equipment) as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, stands at a tube station London on April 22, 2020, as Britain remains under lockdown during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tentatively began his return to work on Tuesday after being hospitalised for coronavirus, as parliament returned and criticism grew over the government's response to the outbreak. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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April 22, 2020 2:58 p.m.
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LONDON — The British government’s chief medical adviser has warned that social distancing measures in the U.K. may well have to stay in place for the rest of the year.

Professor Chris Whitty says at the government’s daily briefing that he’s confident a vaccine will have “proof of concept” well within a year. But he says the probability of having that, or a treatment, any time this calendar year is “incredibly small.”

As a result, he says “we’re going to have to rely on other social measures, which of course are very socially disruptive as everyone is finding at the moment.”

He says ministers will have to decide what mix of measures will have to remain in place once the U.K. goes through the peak of the coronavirus and beyond.

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