June 'too early' to lift coronavirus restrictions, says Scottish public health expert

A public health expert has said next month is “too early" to lift all coronavirus restrictions.

Linda Bauld, professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh, has said June 21 is “too early” to lift coronavirus restrictions in England.

She told Sky News: “I really think that it is too early to be charging ahead. I would like to see several more weeks’ data.”

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A person wearing a face mask walks past a mural in Edinburgh. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Prof Bauld said the planned date was “very ambitious”, adding: “The 21st of June is very soon and I think to avoid more preventable deaths … we really need to be cautious at the current time.”

She told Sky News lessons need to be learned now from Dominic Cummings’ evidence to MPs on the UK Government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Prof Bauld said: “A lot of things he said about decisions that were taken that could have prevented such a big second wave, things we should have learned around travel, around ventilation, around moving cautiously, protecting particular groups – we’re still not necessarily being that cautious and using that evidence.

“So I think some of what he said we really do need to learn from, not in a future public inquiry next year, but learn from now.”

She also questioned the Prime Minister’s former chief adviser’s criticism of behavioural scientists – including on the Independent Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours (SPI-B) – where he claimed there were warnings of behavioural fatigue in compliance with lockdown measures.

Prof Bauld said: “That didn’t come from my colleagues on SPI-B.”

She said the levels of compliance from the public had been “truly astonishing”.

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