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Robert West, who is a professor in Health Psychology at UCL’s Institute of Epidemiology and Health, has called Boris Johnson’s three-tier lockdown measures “draconian”. He warned there is no “permanent immunity” to coronavirus and the country has “wasted several weeks” not going into a circuit-breaker lockdown in September. Speaking to LBC, Mr West said: “With the levels of restrictions we have at the moment, which are pretty draconian and are ruining the economy, we’ll still see the R value above one.
“What do we think is going to happen? We’re seeing 150 deaths a day at the moment. What do we think is going to happen if we relax that further?
“It’s going to go up to where it was in March and it’s going to stay there until approximately between 250,000 to 400,000 people have died.
“At the end, this virus is not one where you get it and you get permanent immunity.
“In fact as far as we can tell the immunity lasts no more than a few months, maybe a year or two.
“You’re going to be back where you started in just a few months time.”
His comments come as people who have been told to self-isolate through NHS Test and Trace could have their contact details shared with police.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHCS) said police forces will have access “on a case-by-case” basis to information, enabling them to know if an individual has been told to self-isolate.
It comes as the DHSC updated its online guidance on Friday about how coronavirus testing data will be handled.
People who fail to self-isolate “without reasonable justification” could have their name, address and contact details passed on to their local authority and then to the police, the DHSC’s website said.
“This may lead to enforcement action being taken against you, which could include you being fined,” the online guidance said.
“A police force may request information relating to positive Covid-19 tests from the NHS Test & Trace programme directly, where they are investigating a report of someone who may not be complying with the mandatory self-isolation period.”
The Health Service Journal (HSJ) reported that the office of England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, feared the move would put people off from being tested.
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Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said ministers should “reverse the policy urgently”.
He said: “Ministers’ decision to allow people’s Covid test data to be shared with the police is a huge mistake.
“Anything that further undermines the public’s dwindling trust in this Government’s handling of the pandemic is damaging, and few things could have been better designed to do that, than this.”
Sir Ed added: “Asking our already overstretched police service to take on this task is both self-defeating and a serious misjudgment.”
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