Covid deaths have topped 80,000 in the UK, with more cases of coronavirus being identified every single day. But now scientists have warned that you could still catch the infection again, so it’s best to follow the social distancing guidelines in place.
The Government announced a third national lockdown earlier this month, after coronavirus cases continued to rise.
In some parts of the UK, the number of cases had doubled in the 10 days since Christmas, before Boris Johnson was forced into action.
He explained that the tiering system was working to reduce the number of cases, but the addition of a new, more transmissible variant meant that more stringent action was necessary.
If you’ve previously tested positive for Covid, you’ll likely have an immunity against the infection for at least five months, scientists have revealed.
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“We now know that most of those who have had the virus, and developed antibodies, are protected from reinfection,” said PHE’s senior medical advisor, Professor Susan Hopkins.
“But this is not total and we do not yet know how long protection lasts. Crucially, we believe people may still be able to pass the virus on.
“This means even if you believe you already had the disease and are protected, you can be reassured it is highly unlikely you will develop severe infections, but there is still a risk that you could acquire an infection and transmit to others.
“Now more than ever it is vital we all stay at home to protect our health service and save lives.”
The current lockdown guidelines advise the public to stay at home, unless it’s absolutely necessary to leave.
You’re allowed to leave home to go to work – if you reasonably can’t work from home -, for food shopping, to get medical supplies, or to escape domestic violence.
The lockdown was announced on January 4, in a Prime Minister’s address to the nation.
Restrictions are set to be eased in the middle of February, but they could last until the end of March if infection rates don’t fall.