CORONAVIRUS will be with Britain until the "middle of next year" the Prime Minister has admitted this morning.
The PM said people need to stop thinking coronavirus "is something that makes it impossible to do things" because it could be with the UK for another 12 months.
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The PM said this morning: "This planet has faced a very nasty new foe in the form of a bug that we didn't know about before.
"It's been a very, very nasty thing for the human race and I think that by the middle of next year, we will be well on the way past it.
"But I do still think we have tough times ahead in keeping this virus under control and tough times in coming through economically”.
The warning comes only a week after Mr Johnson said he hoped the UK would be able to get back to normal by Christmas – and social distancing could be dropped to let family hug over the festive season.
But today he watered down hopes for a packed-in family Christmas saying he would not put a date on when social distancing can end.
Mr Johnson said "The use of face masks the use of all social distancing measures really does depend on our ability, collectively to get the pandemic right, right down and to keep it down.
"I'm not going to make a prediction about when these various social distancing measures can come off."
The PM's top medical advisors have said that Brits will have to learn to live with coronavirus for a long time unless there's a vaccine.
Deputy chief medical advisor to the Government Professor Jonathan Van-Tham has warned it could be years until coronavirus. is eradicated.
He said previously: "We may have to live, and learn to live, with this virus in the long-term, certainly for many months to come if not several years."
To deal with being plagued by the virus long-term Mr Johnson said the entire country would need to learn to live with it and delays on things like getting birth certificates or passports could not continue.
He said: "I want to see a massive effort now by the country to psychologically to stop thinking of coronavirus as something that makes it impossible to do things.
The PM said he wanted Brits to be able to get things done on "double time".
"One of the things I've learnt is sometimes Government can be slow and unresponsive and sometimes we need to go faster."
"There are aspects of the way Government works, the whole of Government, that really need to be faster and more responsive to the needs of the people.
"And if you look at particularly what's happening now, you've got this problem of 'backlog Britain'.
Mr Johnson added: "That's something that I think that we as a country with the fantastic civil servants that we have, now that's something that we should really be bending our wills to solving."
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