Entire UK needs to go into Tier 4 today over fears of Christmas surge, warn scientists
The whole of the UK must be placed under Tier 4 restrictions today amid fears of Christmas Day super-spreading, according to scientific experts.
Independent SAGE, which is chaired by former government chief scientific officer Sir David King, has warned that Christmas Day household mixing will be ‘incredibly dangerous’.
The group called on the Government to cancel the relaxed rules for Christmas Day and to impose Tier 4 measures on every region in England.
It also urged Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to bring forward national lockdowns from Boxing Day to today.
The experts fear Christmas Day will result in thousands of ‘super-spreading events’ exacerbated by the new highly infectious strain of coronavirus.
It comes after London was named as the leading coronavirus hotspot in England.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found the capital had the sharpest infection increases in the days before Christmas.
In the week ending December 18 London had the highest percentage of people testing positive.
The capital was becoming a hotspot just days before an announcement to cancel Christmas plans in Tier 4 areas prompted people to flee the city in droves.
Scenes of thousands fleeing the capital sparked concern on December 19.
The ‘stay at home’ order and new tier level came into effect on Sunday morning at short notice, sparking widespread chaos.
The Government had simultaneously announced it would be scrapping Christmas mixing plans for Tier 4 areas, sending people rushing for trains and planes to get away before the rule-change.
The emergence of a new mutant strain of Covid-19 had prompted officials to axe the plans to relax the rules for the festive season for most areas.
The variant was spreading rapidly through the South East and the capital, scientists had warned the Government – prompting Prime Minister Boris Johnson to abandon the Christmas plan.