We do not want to say that we told you so, but The Independent did report in July that the government was planning to reimpose restrictions – including masks, social distancing and guidance to work from home – if the NHS came under too much pressure.
While the prime minister’s spokesperson may be right to say that he is not considering a “firebreak” lockdown, it has always been possible that lesser restrictions might be brought back as we head into winter.
The chance of that happening has increased in the past week. As we report today, Covid-19 hospitalisations are increasing at an “alarming” rate, according to Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation. Despite much of British society returning to something like the pre-pandemic normal, the prospect of hospital capacity being tested by Covid-19 cases remains real and imminent.
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