Real-time modelling carried out by University College London indicates the UK should pass the critical threshold where the proportion of people who have protection against the virus either through vaccination, previous infection or natural immunity will hit 73.4% on Monday, 12 April.
This is the point at which the nation is seen as having reached a tipping point, known as herd immunity, where sufficient resistance is built up within the community to combat the spread of COVID-19, effectively forcing the coronavirus into retreat.
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Professor Karl Friston, of UCL, told Sky News: “It’s like a chain reaction. If you remove the opportunity for the virus to spread from one person to more than one person then it will die out.”
But warning against any move to speed up the easing of lockdown restrictions in response to reaching herd immunity, he said: “If we let up, that threshold will go up again and we will find ourselves below the threshold and it will explode again.”