The UK will likely have to maintain social distancing until a coronavirus vaccine is available, said epidemiologist Neil Ferguson in an interview with the BBC on Thursday.
Ferguson is a professor at Imperial College London who advises the British government on its coronavirus response.
"It's not going to be going back to normal," Ferguson said. "We will have to maintain some level of social distancing -- a significant level of social distancing -- probably indefinitely until we have a vaccine available."
"We have relatively little leeway, if we relax measures too much then we'll see a resurgence of transmission."
What others are saying: Ferguson's words mirror what researchers in the United States have also projected.
The US may have to endure social distancing measures -- such as stay-at-home orders and school closures -- until 2022, according to researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who published their findings in the journal Science on Tuesday.
That is, unless a vaccine or better therapeutics become available, or we increase our critical care capacity. In other words, 2022 is one scenario of many.
But those findings directly contradict research being touted by the White House that suggests the pandemic may stop this summer.