Professor Neil Ferguson has warned that the UK could be in lockdown again in the New Year if infection rates are not lowered after a second national lockdown.
The Imperial College epidemiologist, nicknamed "Professor Lockdown," said a "significant" decrease in infection rates during the lockdown could ease measures over Christmas and "pose some risks".
The scientist also described how "on-off measures" can be expected in the event of a pandemic and how it is "quite possible" to re-examine the measures at the beginning of January.
His comments come after Boris Johnson was catapulted on Saturday to announce a four-week shutdown for England from Thursday to December 2 as coronavirus cases rose across the country.
Imperial College epidemiologist Professor Neil Ferguson has warned that Britain could be locked again in early January
Speaking to Times Radio Breakfast, he said, “If we can lower the infection rate significantly, we will be able to relax things better over Christmas than if they are still at current levels.
"Relaxation will inevitably bring some risks, it will lead to more transmission, but if it starts from a low level, the cost of it and the damage it entails will be less than the current level."
Professor Ferguson went on to say that the data on transmission rates would need to be reviewed over the next few weeks.
He continued, “In some ways, of course, it will be better to find the perfect measures to keep the transmission under control without the lock going in and out.
“Unfortunately, it is quite possible that we will have to repeat this again in early January or something.
"I really hope we don't, but I think everyone we've spoken to says we need to see what the data shows over the next few weeks and adjust the guidelines accordingly."
Today the UK registered its lower number of daily coronavirus cases within 14 days.
Health ministry numbers showed an additional 18,950 people tested positive for the disease – a 9.3 percent decrease in one week and the lowest since Monday October 19 (18,804).
There were an additional 136 coronavirus deaths in the UK – a 33.3 percent increase from the 102 laboratory-confirmed deaths recorded last week.
The numbers came when the prime minister was toasted by Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer for delaying a national lockdown by 40 days as the country's death toll continued to rise.
In today's Commons, Boris Johnson was toasted by Keir Starmer for spending weeks refusing to enter a statewide lockdown
Sir Keir said, “When government scientists, Sage, recommended an urgent two to three week hiatus on September 21, there were 11 deaths from Covid-19 and just over 4,000 Covid infections.
The Prime Minister ignored this advice for 40 days and when he finally announced a longer and deeper national lockdown on Saturday, those numbers had risen to 326 deaths per day and 22,000 Covid cases.
“That is the human cost of government inaction. The reality is that the two pillars of the Prime Minister's strategy, the £ 12 billion track and trace and regional restrictions, not only did not stop the second wave but were swept away by it.
“In every phase the Prime Minister was too slow behind the curve. At each stage, he has declined the challenge, ignored advice, and put what he hoped for over what happened.
“In every phase it is promised too much and not delivered enough. To refuse the advice of one's own scientists for 40 days has been a disastrous failure of leadership and judgment. & # 39;
Following the Prime Minister's announcement of the lockdown on Saturday, Michael Gove suggested that England could still have Christmas in full lockdown if the four-week shutdown in November didn't lower transmission rates in the country.
The cabinet minister, who appeared on Sky News on Sophy Ridge, defended the prime minister's latest move, saying the government would review the data in November.
When asked whether the national lockdown could be extended, he replied, "Yes."
He said: “We want to be in a position where we can – and I think we probably are – take an approach where we can reduce action at the national level and also at the regional level if we can reduce the infection rate lower sufficiently.
“Since the regional approach is an approach that we want to take whenever possible because we are realizing again that in the future it may be the case that if R is reduced below 1 and national restrictions are reduced in certain Areas showing a specific increase require specific regional measures. "
But he added, "We'll check on December 2nd, but we'll always depend on what the data shows."
Important points about the COVID lockdown Mark 2
- The restrictions start at midnight on Thursday morning and last until December 2nd.
- People can only leave their home for certain reasons, such as: For example, to do important shopping, exercise and work when they are unable to work from home.
- Unnecessary stores are closed, although supermarkets do not have to close their aisles like in Wales.
- Restaurants and bars will have to close unless they can provide takeout service.
- Traveling abroad is only allowed for "essential" reasons such as work. People can still return to the UK from abroad.
- Leisure centers, gyms, sports venues, hairdressers and beauty salons will have to close, although professional sports will continue.
- Important companies that cannot work remotely, such as B. Construction companies should take safety precautions as before.
- Places of worship can remain open for private prayers. Funerals are limited to close families only.
- The vacation program will be extended during the embargo period instead of ending as originally planned. The self-employment grants will also increase from 40 percent of previous earnings to 80 percent for that month.
- Sports are allowed with no frequency limit, but organized sports – including outdoor activities such as golf – are not allowed.
- When the lockdown expires, the Tiers system will be restored and questions remain about the metric used to determine whether restrictions can be lifted in areas.
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