The health expert said Brits may be unable to visit loved ones through the festive period due to the ongoing coronavirus restrictions, and may have talk through video calls and telephone chats.
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Dr Hilary said there was still a chance that Christmas could be “wonderful”, but that it was unlikely that the country would be back to normal.
Talking to The Sun’s executive editor Dan Wooton on talkRADIO, Dr Hilary added that the UK’s lockdown would be lifted eventually, but measures protecting the elderly would be among the last to go.
It comes as scientists have warned that a second wave of coronavirus could come this winter.
Professor Robin Shattock, from Imperial College London, said that when the UK’s lockdown is relaxed Covid-19 could spread rampantly again.
We might have to consider a Christmas that is different to Christmases that we have had before and enjoyed.
Dr Hilary, health editor of Good Morning Britain, said last night: “It’s so difficult to plan ahead. This is such a new virus, we are learning about how it behaves within society in every country around the world.
“Every population and every country are seeing different things with this virus.
“Here in the UK we will undoubtedly have a lifting of restrictions in lockdown at some point and then we will have to see how things develop from there and how the NHS is coping and how many new cases we are seeing.
“There is the prospect towards the end of the year when Christmas arises of still a necessity to protect the elderly who are most vulnerable.”
Dr Hilary explained that Italy, one of worst hit countries in Europe, has a culture of younger people living with and caring for the elderly which resulted in more of the most vulnerable people catching the virus.
He continued: “We might have to consider a Christmas that is different to Christmases that we have had before and enjoyed.”
He added: “I think we might have to accept that visits will be limited to a small number of people or possible even remaining in terms of Skype messages, telephone messages, Christmas cards and the internet.”
Dr Hilary’s warning came as academics said it was likely that the UK would face a second wave of Covid-19.
Professor Robin Shattock, who has been working on a vaccine for the deadly bug, said a resurgence of the virus would be most devastating if it coincided with the annual winter flu.
He told The Times: “The real big danger is if we see the kind of number of cases of Covid-19 that we’re seeing now next winter – and we also have a seasonal flu.
“That could be a double whammy for the health service.”
However, the infectious diseases expert said that scientists do not know whether the virus spreads more in winter.
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He said: “We don’t know that there’s any seasonality about this virus, but you can imagine that when we start to get back to normal life, possibly over the summer that cases will ramp up again.”
Prof Shattock also said that Covid-19 seems to be “very stable” and that there’s “no evidence” of it mutating significantly – meaning it can be more easily targeted by a vaccine.
The latest figures from the Department of Health show there are 129,044 positive cases of coronavirus in the UK, and 17,337 people have died.
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