Many, including the UK government, had hoped life would go “back to normal” in 2021.

But after the emergence of what some have described as the “nastiest” variant yet, the pandemic will be far from over in the New Year.

Sky News has asked five experts what their predictions are for COVID and 2022 – and here a virologist, restaurant owner, social psychologist, economist and GP give their their views.

The scientist

Professor Andrew Easton, virologist at the University of Warwick Pic: University of Warwick Some elements of Omicron are still not yet clear.

But even if this variant causes less severe disease, if the number of people infected continues to go up as we are seeing now, so too will the numbers going to hospital and dying. More on Covid-19

Many people will be severely affected by it, either from getting seriously ill or not being able to work, particularly in places like healthcare – but it will cause problems in various sectors.In the more immediate term, I think it’s very likely there will be further restrictions in the New Year.The earlier you impose the restrictions the more impact they are likely to have because they are more likely to break the transmission cycle.But the delay we’re seeing will likely have the unfortunate consequence of lengthier restrictions afterwards.Cases will have to peak at some point, but even once they’ve peaked, there will still be a lot of people getting infected.I don’t think any restrictions imposed will be quite as long […]

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