Christmas in lockdown remains a possibility, despite the whole of England being shut down for a month.
That’s the view of scientists, who reckon that going back to a tier system once the current restrictions have been lifted could cause infection rates to soar again.
Newly released SAGE documents revealed the nightmarish scenario.
And if the experts’ opinions turn out to be true, it could scupper millions of families’ plans for the festive season.
SAGE warning over Christmas in lockdown
On October 31, Boris Johnson announced he was introducing a second lockdown in England.
It followed the first lockdown that saw most of the country grind to a halt over the summer.
Announcing the restrictions, which started on November 5, the PM vowed the lockdown would end on December 2.
That left millions hopeful that coronavirus cases would’ve reduced sufficiently for families to get together for Christmas.
If England returns to the tiering system, transmission will return to the same rate of increase as today.
However, SAGE – the government’s scientific advisory group – seems to think differently.
Its documents state: “If England returns to the same application of the tiering system in place before November 5, transmission will return to the same rate of increase as today.”
So that could leave the government with no choice but to keep families from gathering over the Christmas period.
According to the Metro, other papers state there would have to be an improvement in the R rate before restrictions could be lifted over Christmas.
It was reportedly said that the R number would have to fall well below one, and that this would have to be maintained “for some time”.
The R number refers to the reproduction rate of the coronavirus.
Anything above one means that the virus is growing.
On Thursday, the number of deaths from coronavirus in the UK surpassed 50,000.
However, a COVID-19 vaccine is apparently 90% effective in combatting the virus.
The UK could get 10 million doses before the end of 2020.
A further 30 million doses have been ordered so far.
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