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Business owners say firebreak must be 'last resort'

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Business and health leaders in Norfolk say an autumn 'firebreak' designed to slow the spread of Covid must be a "last resort".

It comes as the i newspaper reported comments from a senior government scientist from SAGE that the government was drawing up a "firebreak" Covid lockdown, hospitalisations continue at their current level.

The "firebreak" is rumoured to be a contingency plan for the government, with the i paper reporting this could involve the return to social distancing, limits on gathering, and closures of non-essential shops.

Downing Street denied the reports around October half term, but the government said there are "contingency plans" for a "range of scenarios".

Professor Paul Hunter, from the University of East Anglia. Picture: UEA - Credit: UEA

UEA virologist Prof Paul Hunter said he was confident that a firebreak would not be needed, nor have a huge effect.

He said: “The reason I do not think we will need one is I do not think we will be in the same position.

"I cannot see cases or hospitalisations going more than the levels we had last year.

"I wasn’t a fan of firebreaks even last year.

“I do not think it will be needed at all. I do not think it will achieve much."

Last October, 190 people were admitted to hospital with Covid in Norfolk. This included 92 at the James Paget University Hospital, 34 at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital,........

© Eastern Daily Press

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