On Wednesday, Niall Dickson, the chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents hospitals and other health services, said senior managers were extremely worried that a surge in cases was imminent.
He told the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus: “I would say in relation to the second spike issue … the levels of concern among our members – the people who are leading NHS trusts, who are leading in primary care and all levels in the systems – is very high.
“I mean, of course, there’s real concern about winter and the compounding factors there, but also about an earlier spike.”
Scientists said the lifting of lockdown measures meant Britain was now “facing a comeback of community transmission”.
Professor Jose Vazquez-Boland, the chair of infectious diseases at the University of Edinburgh, said it was likely that new peaks in incidence were ahead.
He said: “What we are facing is a comeback of community transmission after removing the lockdown measures. We have to be clear that the efficacy of lockdowns is only temporary. There will be a resurgence of new cases every time social restriction measures are lifted as long as the virus remains in circulation.”
The Cambridge estimates suggest around 3,000 new infections daily, up from the current rolling daily average of 725, which has risen steadily from a low point of 546 on July 5.
The scientists also predict between 43 and 84 daily deaths by mid-August. The seven-day rolling average currently stands at 66 deaths per day.