England’s deputy chief medical officer has told people “don’t wreck this now” as he warned there were “some worrying signs that people are relaxing” in the coronavirus battle at “exactly the wrong time”.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam alerted people who have already been vaccinated to the dangers of “taking their foot off the brake” and being tempted to break Covid-19 rules.
He told a Downing Street briefing on Friday: “All the patients that I vaccinate… I say to them, ‘Remember, all the rules still apply to you and all of us until we’re in a much safer place’. It doesn’t change because you’ve had your first dose of vaccine.
“And so, please don’t be tempted to think, ‘Well, one home visit might be all right now the weather is getting better, going to be a nice weekend, one small gathering in your house won’t really matter’.
“So my key message tonight is look, this is all going very well but there are some worrying signs that people are relaxing, taking their foot off the brake at exactly the wrong time.”
Prof Van-Tam said his inbox had been “besieged” recently with people asking “can I go and see my grandchildren and do X, Y and Z?”
He said: “The answer to that is no.
“We are not yet collectively, as a country, in the right place.”
He compared the situation to a football match, adding: “It is a bit like being 3-0 up in a game and thinking, ‘We can’t possibly lose this now’ – but how many times have we seen the other side take it 4-3?
“Do not wreck this now. It is too early to relax. Just continue to maintain discipline and hang on just a few more months.
“Much as it is encouraging and much as I am upbeat about vaccines and how they are going to change how we live and what the disease is like between now and the summer, there is a long way to go.”