Lockdown easing: why the UK is better prepared for a second wave

This Saturday, lockdown measures in England will ease further, with people able to get a pint in a pub, have a haircut and see another household indoors. The Guardian’s heath editor, Sarah Boseley, looks at whether another lifting of restrictions might result in a second wave, and if it does, why we are better prepared this time round

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From this Saturday, the government has said that in England, pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen, two households will be able to meet in any setting with physical distancing measures, and people can enjoy staycations with the reopening of accommodation sites. But with the loosening of restrictions comes fears of a second wave. Sir Jeremy Farrar, the director of the Wellcome Trust, has said that the UK is on a “knife edge”, with the next few months set to be “critical” in managing the risk of a second peak of Covid-19.

The Guardian’s health editor, Sarah Boseley, tells Rachel Humpheys why if there is another wave of the virus, or even localised spikes across the nation, drug research, well-practised NHS staff and greater awareness of dangers mean the health service is better prepared this time round.

A hairdresser wearing a face mask cuts the hair of a customer, also wearing a face covering, in Dublin as hairdressers reopened in Ireland on 29 June

Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images
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