Can we say Britain has reached the end of the Covid pandemic?

After two years of death and disruption, the UK has emerged from the darkest depths of the virus. But could a future variant cause fresh problems? Samuel Lovett speaks to the experts

Friday 20 May 2022 13:57 BST
The UK has now attained extensive ‘hybrid immunity’ in the population
The UK has now attained extensive ‘hybrid immunity’ in the population (Getty/The Independent)

It’s been a long time since concern around Covid-19 dominated the headlines – and with good reason. All the key metrics that many of us pored over during the last two years are now pointing in the right direction; the UK’s vaccination wall has been built high and strong; and the lifting of restrictions has not led to a feared resurgence in infections.

Although the pandemic continues to burn in some other countries, for Britain it appears to have died down to a smoulder, raising hope that we are through the worst of Covid.

But can we confidently say that the UK has reached the end of its epidemic? Are we moving into a state of equilibrium with this virus? Or are we simply exiting the latest Omicron wave and entering into an interval phase, one that will inevitably be disturbed by the emergence of a new variant?

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