Tier 4 restrictions have cancelled Christmas plans for thousands of Brits, but the new rules may last until Easter.
A third of Brits in London and the South East were hit with new coronavirus restrictions over the weekend.
The plans essentially cancelled Christmas for those stuck within the zones, and meant many will be spending Christmas alone.
Sadly, it doesn’t look like things are about to get any better.
How long will Tier 4 restrictions last?
A senior scientist advising the government, Professor Neil Ferguson, said it’s possible the restrictions could last until Easter.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Boris Johnson has refused to rule out the suggestions.
“We will obviously continue to keep the latest scientific data and transmission rate of the virus under review,” said the spokesperson.
“We obviously won’t keep these rules in place any longer than is necessary, but it’s important (we) continue to look at the scientific data and evidence in order to inform our (decisions), but I would stress the important thing is for people to follow the rules.”
He added: “We’ve introduced Tier 4… specifically to drive down the transmission rate of the new variant and to reduce the R rate.”
Matt Hancock echoed the concerns on Sunday.
He said: “It’s going to be very difficult to keep it under control until we have the vaccine.”
Will there be another lockdown?
It comes as coronavirus infections have spiked in England.
During a visit to Bolton he said: “Obviously we’re hoping very much that we’re going to be able to avoid anything like that.
“But the reality is that the rates of infection have increased very much in the last few weeks.”
The first coronavirus vaccines were rolled out throughout the country earlier this month, with 90-year-old Margaret Keenan the first to receive hers in Coventry.
Government instructions mean that the elderly, the most medically vulnerable and key workers will get the jab first.
As a result, news of a vaccine is now giving light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel to many.
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