Face masks and distancing may be needed for years, says expert – Devon Live

Face masks and social distancing may be needed for years, a public health expert has said.

Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at Public Health England, said basic coronavirus safety measures may stay in place for years to come.

She said they may be needed until other countries have completed their vaccination projects, reports the BBC.

She said “People have got used to those lower-level restrictions now, and people can live with them, and the economy can still go on with those less severe restrictions in place.

“So I think certainly for a few years, at least until other parts of the world are as well vaccinated as we are, and the numbers have come down everywhere, that is when we may be able to go very gradually back to a more normal situation

Dr Ramsay added: “We have to look very carefully before any of these restrictions are lifted.”

Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance have previously said face masks and hand washing may be needed for some time.

A further 35 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 85,765, NHS England said on Sunday.

Patients were aged between 37 and 98 and all except two, aged 37 and 88, had known underlying health conditions.

The deaths were between May 18 and March 20.

There were 20 other deaths reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.