Chris Whitty today delivered a stark warning to anyone continuing to mix households during what he describes as the ‘worst weeks’ of the pandemic.
England’s Chief Medical officer told BBC Breakfast: ““The virus can essentially be passed on in any place where people from two different households meet together.
“It can be passed on and very often is passed on in households when people invite other people into their home and meet them who are not from their household.”
Prof Whitty also said the new variant is now a ‘serious problem and rising in every part of England’.
He now believes the next few weeks are going to be the worst weeks of this pandemic to date.
Mr Whitty urged the public to continue to follow lockdown rules and avoid any unnecessary contact with other people.
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However the professor reiterated his point that the virus was spreading when two different households meet together.
He said: “Of course it can be passed on in any other environment, outside, in shops, in any environment within an indoor setting.
“The key thing is to understand that it’s when you meet people from another household, under any circumstances, and they’re very often your friends, your family, but those are the kind of situations where the virus is passed on.
“It doesn’t care who you are, it doesn’t care whether they’re your friends, if you meet someone from another household, the virus has an opportunity to be transmitted.”
Professor Chris Whitty said it would be possible to be reinfected with Covid-19 after people had been vaccinated but that cases would occur at a “much lower rate”.
“The risk of getting Covid a second time if you’ve had it a first time are substantially reduced, probably between 80% and 90% at least over the first six months,” England’s chief medical officer told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“We are confident it reduces the risk but it doesn’t reduce it to zero, so reinfection is a possibility and the same will be true after vaccination.
“Reinfections will occur but at a much lower rate.”
Prof Whitty added that while the virus does not often last long as an infection, symptoms such as a cough could persist for a very long time.