Dr Anthony Fauci has said that US ban on British travelers entering the country will last for months more.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, the US government’s chief expert on infectious diseases warned the travel ban imposed on the UK would last for “more likely months than weeks”.
The ban could even last until a vaccine is ready, but it is possible that it could be lifted before then, Dr Fauci said. US bans on travelers from the European Union, Brazil, China and Iran follow a similar logic and may also last for months more, based on the rate of infection.
Travel bans have been in place from the EU and UK since mid-March when they were introduced within days of each other. Initially the UK and Ireland were omitted.
The China travel ban was instituted at the end of January, Iran from the end of February, and Brazil had a ban imposed on it when cases began spiking in late May. Dr Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, predicts that the virus could “go on for a couple of cycles”.
“I would hope to get to some degree of real normality within a year or so, but I don’t think it’s this winter or fall,” he told the outlet.
Noting that there are currently four or five US vaccines making significant progress, he said that while you can never guarantee success when developing a vaccine, early results indicate it is possible that two or three could be successfully developed.
“This will end,” Dr Fauci told The Telegraph. “As stressful and devastating as it is, it will end.”
The UK has recorded more than 296,000 cases of coronavirus and over 41,000 deaths – the worst in Europe. The US currently has the largest number of cases and deaths in the world with over 2 million infections and approaching 120,000 fatalities.