Still not too late to reap benefits of a zero-covid strategy

Strategy co-ordinated with North could allow unrestricted domestic travel within 12 weeks

Realistic estimations from experts suggest it will be September or October at the earliest before some element of herd immunity can be achieved through vaccination. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/Getty Images

Realistic estimations from experts suggest it will be September or October at the earliest before some element of herd immunity can be achieved through vaccination. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/Getty Images

The abruptness with which the Government announced a third lockdown took many people by surprise. But to others it was inevitable, and merely confirmed that it is the coronavirus case numbers that dictate the level of restrictions, not the Government. Warnings that daily case numbers could be out of control by the first week of January made Government action inevitable.

Among the repercussions were the cancellation of much-anticipated family visits and large numbers of job losses. Many in the hospitality industry who were relying on doing a good trade during the festive season were knocked back at having to, for the third time, close up shop.

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