Government’s Covid adviser ‘very fearful’ UK could see another ‘lockdown Christmas’

A Government Covid adviser has said people can expect a lockdown Christmas if Government policy does not change.

The Government is under mounting pressure from the NHS and SAGE scientists to implement ‘Plan B’ Covid measures in an attempt to curb rising infection rates and protect the NHS.

But Boris Johnson has so far ruled out imposing the stricter measures, which would see a return of face masks and working from home, as well as Covid passports.

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Speaking in a personal capacity, Professor Peter Openshaw told BBC Breakfast he was “very fearful” of “another lockdown Christmas”, WalesOnline reports.

The member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) which advises the Government added that not acting now to curb infection rates is “unacceptable”.

When asked what people can expect from Christmas if Government policy does not change, Prof Openshaw of Imperial College London said: “I’m very fearful that we’re going to have another lockdown Christmas if we don’t act soon.

“We know that with public health measures the time to act is immediately. There’s no point in delaying.

“If you do delay then you need to take even more stringent actions later. The immediacy of response is absolutely vital if you’re going to get things under control.

“We all really, really want a wonderful family Christmas where we can all get back together.

“If that’s what we want, we need to get these measures in place now in order to get transmission rates right down so that we can actually get together and see one another over Christmas.”

Prof Openshaw added: “I think we all are desperate to get back to normal life and I can absolutely understand why the Government is listening to pressure from industry and its own inclinations to really open up, but the figures at the moment really do show we’ve got too many cases out there.

“It’s just, I think, unacceptable to be letting this run at the moment.”

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