Coronavirus isolation must stay for most of a year, scientists told Government

Social isolation measures will need to be in place for most of a year at least in order to control the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, according to experts' advice to the Government.

Friday, 20th March 2020, 5:00 pm

Scientists also advised ministers that, while the severity of measures could alternate during the period, the "stricter" measures would need to be enforced for at least half of the year.

The Government published the advice on Friday - a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he expects the tide to be turned in the fight against Covid-19 within 12 weeks.

A report by the scientific pandemic influenza group on modelling states: "It was agreed that the addition of both general social distancing and school closures to case isolation, household isolation and social distancing of vulnerable groups would be likely to control the epidemic when kept in place for a long period.

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Two women observe social distancing measures as they speak to each other from adjacent park benches amidst the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

"It was agreed that a policy of alternating between periods of more and less strict social distancing measures could plausibly be effective at keeping the number of critical care cases within capacity.

"These would need to be in place for at least most of a year. Under such as policy, at least half of the year would be spent under the stricter social distancing measures."