Answers to questions about the coronavirus: from the second wave and block to who is to blame

There have been 352,560 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK and 41,586 deaths, according to official government figures.

Separate data shows that there were 57,400 deaths in which Covid was mentioned on the death certificate.

Here we answer all your coronavirus questions, including whether there will be a second wave, what the new restrictions are, and more.

What are the new restrictions?

From Monday it will be illegal in England to gather in groups larger than six, indoors or outdoors.

The government had previously allowed up to 30 to socialize together.

Any group larger than six risks being dispersed by the police or fined. People who disobey will face fines of £ 100, which will double on each subsequent occasion to £ 3,200.

Weddings, funerals and team sports will be excluded from the updated restrictions.



Meetings of more than six people will be banned from Monday

Business and educational meetings are also allowed, and people with a family or a support bubble of more than six people can reunite.

Are we headed for a second wave?

Medical experts are concerned that we may face a peak. The new infections hit nearly 3,000 on Monday, the highest number since May.

NHS trusts in England have started making preparations for an increase in cases. Health chiefs fear a second wave is inevitable, but believe that with the right measures in place they can prevent it from being as severe as the first epidemic.

Will we be able to see our families at Christmas?



Family reunions at Christmas are under threat due to coronavirus rules

It depends on how severe the spike is. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the restrictions will be for the “foreseeable future” but “hopes” they will be lifted in time for Christmas.

Will there be a second national bloc?

This is unlikely. Boris Johnson is desperate to avoid a blockade due to the economic damage it could cause. Tens of thousands of jobs have been lost due to Covid restrictions, especially in the retail, hospitality and aviation sectors.

A second nationwide blockade would put even more jobs at risk. The first block has also created a backlog of cases that the NHS is just starting to address.

The government would prefer to persist with localized restrictions such as those seen in Leicester and parts of Greater Manchester.

What’s the situation with the bubbles?

Support bubbles are not affected by the new rules. Once a bubble is formed, you cannot move on to creating a new bubble with another family. People in each bubble can stay in each other’s homes and don’t have to socially distance themselves. They count as a family.

Can I see five different people from different families one day and then five different people from different families the next day?



There seems to be no rules as to how many groups of bubbles you can encounter

There is nothing in the rules about holding on to an exclusive group of five at each different meeting.

However, it goes without saying that the more people you see the more likely you are to contract the virus.

So even if you wouldn’t be breaking the law, it may not be wise or in the spirit of the rules.

Can you play soccer with friends in the park?

No. Organized team sports are exempt from the new law. So a well-organized match between two club teams is fine. Putting 21 mates together and putting down the jumpers for a kickabout is not.

Can you go to work, play football with co-workers and then go have a pint with them?

Yes, as long as there are never more than five other people in your group at social events.

What went wrong with Test and Trace?



Baroness Dido Harding launched the Test and Trace system

The “world” system promised by Boris Johnson was haunted by problems. First, people in England are told to travel hundreds of miles to take a test.

This was caused by problems in the labs processing the tests and the decision to prioritize at-risk groups. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it could take “a couple of weeks” to resolve this backlog.

Second, the NHS Test and Trace system has repeatedly failed to achieve its goal of reaching 80% of those who were in close contact with a Covid vector.

Data for the week ending August 26 showed that of those close contacts provided by people who recorded a positive test, only 69% were achieved. This is down from 77% the previous week.

How important is Test and Trace?

Countries that introduced testing and tracking regimes early in the outbreak saw fewer deaths.

It’s cited as the reason South Korea, with a population of 51 million, reported 341 Covid victims.

Test and trace means that health officials can monitor the spread of the virus, order those in contact with carriers to isolate and identify those who are asymptomatic, people who show no symptoms.

A fully functioning testing regime would also give people the reassurance to return to work.

The Department of Health says it now has the ability to test “on an unprecedented scale”.

Is it the fault of young people for the increase in cases?



The children went back to school this month

People aged 20-29 accounted for a third of all Covid cases in England last week. And with the return of universities this month, there are fears that it will increase further.

Young people are more likely to socialize and use public transport and share housing.

Some scientists say young people should be allowed to get on with their lives as their risk of dying from Covid is low. Others fear they could pass the virus to elderly relatives.

We still think colder weather will affect the rate and why?

Yes. Evidence suggests that all viruses survive best outside the body in cold weather. The Emergency Science Advisory Group says a temperature of 4 ° C (39 ° F) is particularly good for Covid-19. The spread of the coronavirus is hindered by sunlight, but there is much less of it in winter. People suffer most from seasonal colds and coughs in the winter. Until they are tested, they may not be able to distinguish between a common cold and Covid-19, potentially spreading it without realizing it.

Why don’t we test everyone who enters the country instead of telling them to isolate themselves?



Travelers from certain countries must be quarantined upon their return

The practicalities of testing make this difficult. Furthermore, ministers say a first test at an airport could lose 93% of cases. Transportation chiefs dispute this and want passengers to be tested on arrival and up to eight days later while self-isolating.

Is there any chance that there will be a vaccine soon?

The best we can realistically hope for by the end of the year is that potentially reliable vaccinations have completed major trials. Professor Chris Whitty, UK Chief Medical Officer, said there is a “reasonable chance” that a vaccine is ready for the 2021-2022 season.

What is the R rate?

A rate of 1 means that an infected person passes the disease on to each other. A rate of less than 1 means that the virus is dying out; a rate above 1 means that it is spreading. England’s “R” rate is between 0.9 and 1.1 with regional differences.

How much has it gotten worse in the past six months?



Drivers are tested for coronavirus

The UK recorded its first death from Covid-19 on March 2. On March 23, the number exceeded 1,000 and the prime minister announced a national blockade.

Eight days later, the total jumped to 5,000. At the end of May, the virus was killing 891 people per million.

However, as treatments, such as dexamethasone, were found and doctors improved in caring for victims, the death rate dropped.

The percentage of hospitalized patients with Covid-19 who die every day in England dropped from 6% to 1.5% between April and June. Yesterday NHS England reported just eight deaths, with victims aged 43 to 92.

There are other possible reasons why they die less. Many who got sick in the first wave were old and sick. Now, many more young people are proportionally affected. But if they continue to infect the most vulnerable people, the death rate could rise.

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