Strictest measures will be needed by Christmas, advisers say

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Calls for tougher measures: the Government's scientific advisory body has suggested all of England may need to be under tier three measures by mid-December
Calls for tougher measures: the Government's scientific advisory body has suggested all of England may need to be under tier three measures by mid-December

Related tags: lockdown, Scotland, Wales, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Yorkshire, Legislation, Health and safety

The Government’s scientific advisers have advised the imposition of tier three restrictions on the entire country by mid-December, it has been reported.

The Telegraph​ has reported that the Government’s advisory body Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) is pushing for further restrictions to be imposed amid predictions of the second wave death toll.

Sage modelling has suggested the second wave will result in a higher death toll than the first, although it will peak at a lower level.

The newspaper has ​reported that the Government’s chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance is pushing for stricter measures. 

What’s more, the body told policymakers all of England will need to be placed under tier three restrictions in the weeks leading up to Christmas. 

Sage has predicted as many of 25,000 people could be in hospital by the end of next month.

Exit strategy urged

Pressure to impose further measures comes as both politicians and business groups have been calling for a clear path out of heavy localised restrictions.

More than 50 Conservative MPs urged the Government to set out a “road map” for areas under tier three measures in the north of England.

The Northern Research Group wrote a letter to the Prime Minister highlighting how the north had been particularly hit by the economic fall out of the pandemic, “with many losing jobs and businesses”.

Tier three measures are currently reviewed every 28 days.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he could not rule out further restrictions, when asked if there was a possibility a fourth tier of restrictions could be introduced.

Nothing off the table

Hancock told BBC Breakfast ​on Monday: "We've always said all along that we take nothing off the table. Having said that, we have seen the rise in the number of cases has slowed a bit.

"The problem is it's still going up, and while it's still going up we've got to act to get it under control.

"We rule nothing out but at the moment the three-tier system is what we're working to and it's effective in slowing the growth of this virus but it hasn't brought this curve to a halt."

Temporary restrictions have seen pubs close for a short period in Wales and Scotland.

However, the sector has said there is a lack of evidence to justify closures and other strict restrictions. 

Admiral Taverns chief executive Chris Jowsey told The Morning Advertiser​ he felt “baffled” by the restrictions on the sector which include a national curfew of 10pm for pubs.

“Pubs are not the problem, we’re part of the solution,” he said.

Related topics: Legislation

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