Well, there is no easy answer to that; we are likely moving into a new way of living which might include some levels of social distancing for the foreseeable future, wearing masks in public spaces and limits on the number of people in shops, cafes and restaurants. Curbside pick-ups could be the new eating “out”.
But more practically, how would an exit strategy work in the next few weeks or months? Giving us some insight, the government has announced five key factors that they are looking at to base their decisions on:
1. Ensuring the NHS has the capacity to provide critical care across the UK.
2. Seeing a sustained and consistent fall in daily coronavirus deaths (the USA strategies look for 14 consecutive days of the number of people dying decreasing)
3. A decreased rate of infections – fewer people testing positive or getting infected.
4. As a nation, we are able to perform enough testing and provide enough personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as maintain enough supplies for future demand.
5. Confidence that adjusting the lockdown measures will not risk a second peak of infections and an increase in the transmission rate.
Hopefully, this helps to give some insight into what the future might hold over the next few weeks. We should see some more announcements in the coming weeks that will help us to see the direction we are moving towards.
Elizabeth is a qualified epidemiologist and Public Health specialist.