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Realistic to end England's lockdown in December, medical chief says

LONDON, Nov 3 (Reuters) - England’s forthcoming lockdown is designed to reduce COVID-19 transmission rates to the extent that it can end on December 2, chief medical officer Chris Whitty said on Tuesday, adding that any decision on whether to extend it was for government.

Asked if there was a reliable chance of lockdown ending as scheduled on December 2, Whitty said: “The aim of this is to get the rates down far enough that it’s a realistic possibility to move into a different state of play at that point in time.”

Whitty told lawmakers that the lockdown, due to come into force on Thursday, could reduce the reproduction number below 1 if it was adhered to, but that other measures would be needed through the winter even if full lockdown ended in December. (Reporting by Alistair Smout. Editing by Andrew MacAskill)

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