Chris Whitty warns England could plunge into lockdown in just five weeks

The Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty has warned that the country could find itself back in lockdown in just five weeks' time.

Speaking at the British Science Museum event on Friday England's top doc indicated that a "scary" growth in hospitalisations could lead to the NHS "in trouble again surprisingly fast".

This could lead to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who told the nation we must "learn to live with Covid," rolling back on the country's newfound freedoms and bringing restrictions back into place.

Prof. Whitty sounded the alarm just four days before "Freedom Day" on Monday, July 19 when almost all Covid rules will be lifted, reports The Mirror.

Will there be another lockdown?

He said if admissions begin doubling and the vaccine rollout was not "topping out" the pandemic, in "five, six, seven eight weeks' time" there may be calls to "look again" at restrictions.

The Government has been heavily criticised for the universal relaxation of rules on Monday against a backdrop of increasing infections and record numbers forced to isolate after being 'pinged' by the Covid app.

From July 19 the public will not be required by law to wear masks in most settings but in recent days ministers appeared to soften their approach by encouraging masks to be worn on transport.

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Prof. Whitty stated at the Science Museum that epidemics are "either doubling or they're halving," before adding: "And currently this epidemic is doubling. It's doubling in cases. It is also doubling in people going to hospital, and it's doubling in deaths."

He said: "We've still got over 2000 people in hospital, and that number is increasing.

"If we double from 2000 to 4000, from 4000 to 8000, to 8000 and so on, it doesn't take many doubling times till you're into very very large numbers indeed."

In the latest Covid figures released by the Department of Health, there were 51,870 positive cases in the last 24 hours and 49 further deaths.

The latest Test and Trace figures showed 194,005 people tested positive for Covid-19 in England in the week to July 7, up 43% on the previous week.

It is the highest number since late January.

The surge in infections is causing more and more people to self-isolate due to the increased chance of coming into contact with an infected person.

530,126 alerts, 520,194 in England and 9,932 in Wales, were sent in the seven days to July 7, the highest seven-day total since data was first published in January.

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