As time goes on we are beginning to get a better idea of when and how things will return to a semblance of normalcy. Many are wondering if they will be able to go on vacation. Restaurant, pub and nightclub owners are all desperately waiting to open their doors as their livelihood has been considerably impacted.
We are all dying to know what's in store for us this summer as it is safe to say we deserve a much needed break! But as with everything in life, we cannot be certain about the exact outcome. So, we've looked into the opinion of a medical expert to give us some insight as to what we can expect for the future.
How will this summer differ from the previous one?
Dr Martin Michaelis, Professor of Molecular Medicine at the University of Kent believes that we need to look back at our mistakes from last summer in order to have a more realistic outlook on the future. For one, he explains that:
It is clear that traveling and initiatives like the ‘Eat out to help out’ scheme have substantially contributed to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases and deaths last year and, eventually, the lockdown in which we are still in.
Instead, the focus should be on ways to contain the virus as much as possible:
I think that everything will depend very much on the number of COVID-19 cases. If we are able to reduce them to very low levels, ideally clearly below ten cases per million per day, we should approach a scenario, in which we will be able to control COVID-19 spread by breaking individual transmission chains early and locally by isolating infected individuals and their contacts.
Adding that if we achieve such low numbers, we could expect to go on living without lockdowns like the ones that we currently find ourselves in.
Will traveling be allowed in the UK this summer?
So far, what we know about easing restrictions according to the UK government is that the lockdown will be in effect until at least 8 March with schools potentially reopening on that same day. The hospitality sector, on the other hand, might not reopen until at least may and travelling might remain heavily restricted until the end of the year.
But what does an expert think is likeliest to happen to our much beloved summer getaways? Dr. Michaelis believes that:
I think this is possible but would imagine that it will still be subject to strict distancing measures, face coverings will remain mandatory in many settings, and thorough hygiene measures will have to remain in place
I am sceptical with regard to overseas travel. Even if things are allowed, this does not mean that we have to do them. If you primarily look at what is allowed within the rules, this quickly becomes a recipe for spreading the disease within the rules. Nevertheless, I think that the motto should remain ‘Better safe than sorry' for the foreseeable future.