UK Facing ‘Near Lockdown’ to Avert ‘Catastrophe’ Amid New Phase of Pandemic, Gov’t Adviser Warns

On 26 December, the UK authorities expanded the strictest degree of COVID restrictions to cowl nearly half of England’s inhabitants amid a brand new pressure of the illness, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson not ruling out the prospect of a 3rd nationwide lockdown.

Warnings have been issued for the UK authorities to take into account bringing in tighter coronavirus lockdown guidelines to avert a surge in deaths from a brand new pressure of the illness.

Andrew Hayward, a number one epidemiologist who sits on the authorities’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), spoke on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme to urge the necessity for extra powerful restrictions.

Professor Hayward, who can be the director of the UCL’s Institute for Epidemiology, added that the unfolding state of affairs advised the nation is likely to be observing a “near lockdown”, as he suggested that classes be discovered from the primary lockdown.

AP Photo / Peter ByrneA girl carrying a face masks walks in Manchester, England, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020

At the identical time, the scientist acknowledged that lockdowns might solely actually work in the event you can “afford” them.

Professor Hayward added:

‘Nuclear’ Option Not Ruled Out

The remarks have been made as well being consultants within the UK and US have been warning of the potential risks of the brand new coronavirus pressure, first registered within the UK, which in accordance to one British research is 50 p.c to 74 p.c extra contagious.

Named “VUI – 202012/01”, it features a genetic mutation within the “spike” protein, which is what present vaccines goal.

The pressure is already believed to have reached a quantity of nations, together with Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, prompting greater than 50 nations to impose journey restrictions on the UK.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who expanded the strictest degree of COVID restrictions on 26 December, is making ready to evaluate the tiered measures for England on 30 December. Reportedly, hundreds of thousands extra persons are set to face the very best Tier 4 degree of restrictions, which at present over 40 p.c of the inhabitants are positioned below.

JOHN SIBLEYPeople stroll down Carnaby Street because the outbreak of the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) continues, in London, Britain December 22, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley

In line with these guidelines, non-essential retail and hospitality have been closed, with further journey restrictions imposed to curb the brand new pressure of the virus. People principally can’t meet in individual, whereas those that want to journey for schooling or childcare are exempt.

Where folks can’t make money working from home, they’re allowed to journey to work. However, Tier 4 residents should not keep in a single day away from dwelling, and can’t journey overseas.

Under the measures, households aren’t allowed to combine, however one individual is allowed to meet with one different individual outdoors in a public house.

The prime minister has additionally not dominated out the prospect of a 3rd nationwide lockdown. While earlier overtly averse to such a course of motion, which he dubbed the “nuclear” choice, after Monday registered 41,385 new infections within the UK, Downing Street is below stress to delay the reopening of colleges on 4 January after the Christmas break.


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