The UK has almost reached the coronavirus “Holy Grail” of herd immunity – thanks to the Euros, an expert claims.

Paul Hunter, a professor of drugs at the University of East Anglia, said mass mixing of younger people during the games may have helped push the country towards safety sooner.

He said: “A lot of people might be disgusted by me saying this, but ultimately the Euros might turn out to be one of the things that make the rest of the summer less stressful, as we’ve effectively immunised a lot more younger people who wouldn’t otherwise have come for or been available for a vaccine.

“But I would stress that I would never suggest that as a control strategy in advance.”

While Prof Karl Friston, of University College London, believes Britain reached herd immunity in the spring before the emergence of the delta variant.

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