BORIS Johnson 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.
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It came as a minister said the rule of six was likely to stay in place by Christmas.
And gloomy modelling from the Government's scientific advisers warned that everywhere could be under Tier 3 rules – meaning no mixing of households – by the end of the year, effectively cancelling Christmas.
Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey has called for a new plan for Christmas, warning people face confusion and complexity over potential restrictions.
Suggesting a four-nation summit, he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning: "2020 has been such a tough year for families across the UK, people losing loved ones, losing their jobs.
"People had been looking forward to Christmas and I think they're increasingly worried they won't be able to be with many of their families and friends at Christmas as normal.
"So we want the governments of the four nations to come together, to look ahead, to get ahead of the game and plan measures so that we can maximise the chances of Christmas being as near normal as possible and it means they've got to take steps now together and if they do then maybe Christmas won't be cancelled."
He wants the Government to tell the nation what the rules for gatherings might be, whether they will be allowed to use public transport, and how students can get back home from university.
The news comes as:
- A Tier 3 lockdown needs to be in place for all of England by Christmas, gloomy medics warned
- 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
Environment Secretayr George Eustice warned today the rule of six may still be in place at Christmas.
He told the BBC today: "We want people to have a Christmas that is as close to normal as possible.
"It's too early to say what restrictions will be in place by Christmas.
"I'm sure people will be able to have a good Christmas – but they may not be able to get together in the large groups they normally would."
Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the Government's failure to use the half-term for a circuit-breaker lockdown means they now need to "do something quickly to save Christmas".
When asked if he thought families would be able to meet in groups of more than six on Christmas Day, he said: "That's in the hands of all of us, and in the hands of the decisions it (the Government) makes in the next week or so about what they're going to do to get on top of this virus.
"I think because they've missed this window of opportunity over the half term, I'm worried now that what we'll see is deeper, more drastic lockdown action over November and December, which sadly probably does put Christmas at risk.
"The Government have got to do something quickly to save Christmas for everybody, because we want people to have a family Christmas, and I think it would be awful if people didn't have that."
Gloomy numbers from Sage scientists paint a grim picture of the next few months.
No10 assumes the death toll this winter is going to be worse than that experienced by the UK in the spring.
A government source said: “The latest Sage numbers are utterly bleak.”
The Government’s Sage advisory body has warned that by the festive season, virus rates all over the country will soar past the levels seen in areas already put into the “very high” category.
So far Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire, Lancashire, Liverpool City region, Warrington, Nottingham and parts of Nottinghamshire have all been pushed into the highest level of Covid restrictions – and West Yorkshire could follow too.
Tier 3 means people are banned from household mixing – and people wouldn't be able to spend Christmas with their loved ones unless they were already living together.
Scientific adviser Professor Sir Mark Walport said this morning: "The numbers speak for themselves.
"The number of cases is rising very significantly – it was 22,800 on 27 October and the seven-day average was just over 22,000, so there are an awful lot of cases."
He added: "The numbers of deaths are rising, we can see from other countries. It is for the Government as policy-makers to decide how to manage that."
But he stressed that people are recovering more from the virus now and there were hopes that the death rate would be lower than it was in the first wave.
Yesterday's deaths figure means, on average, 200 coronavirus deaths have been reported every day in the UK over the last week.
Dr Yvonne Doyle, the medical director of Public Health England, said: "We continue to see the trend in deaths rising, and it is likely this will continue for some time.
"Each day we see more people testing positive and hospital admissions increasing.
"Being seriously ill enough from the infection to need hospital admission can sadly lead to more Covid-related deaths."
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