The UK is expected to end these restrictions on the 19th of July, whilst this pandemic remains with us. It is likely that there will be a significant third wave, as infection rates from the Delta variant are rising. However, hospital admissions and death rates have decreased considerably in the UK, and the Government are keen to get the inevitable 'exit wave' started. This is the idea that infection rates will naturally increase as life goes back to normal, but the hope is that the wall of immunity built up by natural infection, as well as from the vaccination programme, will eventually flatten the curve. Waiting too long to ease restrictions may extend the ‘exit wave’ into the autumn when schools are back, which would not be ideal.
Dr Muge Cevik, an infectious disease expert, recommends a psychological shift within the UK population to accept that "We won't be able to completely stop the spread. We are now at the stage of managing the virus," and therefore we can ease restrictions. This is despite the infection rate from the Delta variant rising. Others believe we should just wait till the adult vaccination rollout is complete in September - we have waited this long for the vaccination programme, what's two more months? What are the implications of easing restrictions now? What are the implications of waiting till September? Consider the impact on healthcare, the economy, and the general population. Do we trust the vaccines enough? Which do you think is a better idea? Can you think of other measures the government should put in place to improve the situation?