ALL of England will need to be under severe Tier 3 Covid restrictions by mid-December – cancelling family Christmas gatherings for millions, gloomy scientists have told ministers.
It has dashed Boris Johnson’s hopes of a Christmas reprieve from lockdown rules, as people in the higher lockdown areas can't mix between households indoors.
The PM previously said he hoped to lift the rules so families could spend the holidays with loved ones, but this is looking less likely as the coronavirus figures look worse and worse.
But today a minister said the rule of six was likely to stay in place by Christmas across the country – and there would be extra rules in the higher tier areas too.
It means that eight million people in England alone – and more in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – won't be able to go and stay with family an friends this Christmas as they wouldn't be allowed to meet indoors.
A gathering of six people in the park might be all that's allowed for people living in the toughest lockdown areas on Christmas day.
Ex-Scottish Tory boss Ruth Davidson has demanded Nicola Sturgeon suspends the ban on household mixing for 48 hours in the highest tiers – so people won't be alone at Christmas.
The news comes as:
- Govt scientists predict second Covid wave could be more deadly than first with ‘lower but longer peak’ death toll
- The Sun revealed that the latest government modelling overseen by chief scientist Sir Patrick Vallance shows more than 25,000 will be in hospital with the virus by the end of November
- Britain has suffered its highest daily Covid death toll for more than five months yesterday – after 367 more people lost their lives to the virus
- Another 22,885 people have also tested positive for coronavirus yesterday too
- Cops WILL enter homes and break-up Christmas family gatherings if they break lockdown rules, a police chief warned today
The Sun has learned that the latest government modelling overseen by chief scientist Sir Patrick Vallance shows more than 25,000 will be in hospital with the virus by the end of November — higher than the spring peak.
That is also more than double the 9,199 who were battling the bug in hospital yesterday.
It comes as officials predict the second Covid wave could be even deadlier than the first, with a "lower but longer peak".
No10 assumes the death toll this winter is going to be worse than that experienced by the UK in the spring.
And yesterday, the UK recorded its highest daily coronavirus death toll since May, with a further 367 fatalities and another 22,885 cases confirmed.
The number of deaths is the highest daily figure since May 27, when 422 were reported.
On average, 200 coronavirus deaths have been reported every day in the UK over the past week.
Sir Patrick had warned the Covid second wave would not hit that grim milestone until mid-November.
It is understood that new modelling prepared by the scientific advisory committee shows a far starker picture than originally feared, with the whole country needing the toughest restrictions in December.
A government source said: “The latest Sage numbers are utterly bleak.”
Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, last night warned that the rising death toll from Covid-19 was likely to continue for some time.
The PM is under pressure to host a four-way crunch summit to save Christmas amid fears that people WILL break the rules anyway to see their family.
Leaders have demanded the PM bring the four nations of the UK together to come up with a new blueprint to allow people to spend the holiday period with their loved ones.
Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi insisted that Tier 3 areas were subject to 28-day reviews but warned virus levels were still too high to begin relaxing any curbs.
And Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson has backed the idea of a possible fourth tier of coronavirus restrictions if Tier 3 measures do not go far enough to halt the spread of Covid-19.
The city is one of five northern locations currently under the strictest curbs.
But Mr Anderson, whose brother Bill was one of 61 people to die with the virus in the city in one week, told the BBC he was not opposed to the introduction of “tougher measures if necessary”.
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