Europe

Third national lockdown after Christmas ‘BOUND to happen’ as coronavirus cases rocket

Boris Johnson discusses chances of lockdown after Christmas

The Prime Minister has not ruled out a third national lockdown amid rising coronavirus rates. Over a five-day period next week, people will be permitted to form “Christmas bubbles” comprising up to three households – a policy which critics fear will fuel the rising number of infections. He is standing his ground in the face of pressure from Labour to rethink his festive mixing plan.

Express.co.uk conducted an exclusive poll asking readers if they thought England was heading for a harsher lockdown in January following the lull in strict coronavirus rules.

Eighty-nine percent (1,804) of readers who took part predicted another national lockdown after the New Year.

Just nine percent (174) thought that the Prime Minister would not resort to such measures next month.

Two percent (39) said they didn’t know.

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In comments, many readers said they feared another nationwide shutdown was on the cards due to the careless attitude people had adopted since being released from the second lockdown.

One person said another strict lockdown was clearly on the horizon as people are not taking the current measures seriously.

They wrote: “You can see it coming. Most people are not bothered and are carrying on as usual.”

Another person pointed out that not every Covid death recorded in the UK is a person who died of the virus, but rather one who has tested positive within 28 days of their passing.

They accused those in power of “manipulating” the figures to impose harsh restrictions on people’s way of life.

The reader said: “They are manipulating the figures to produce more cases when they want to justify draconian measures, and less cases when they want to make us grateful for a little respite.

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“We are being manipulated into a StockhoIm syndrome in order to make us accepting of whatever changes they want to make to our society!”

And yet a third said they “wouldn’t put it past” the Prime Minister to send millions back into lockdown at the beginning of 2021.

The person wrote: “I won’t put it past Johnson to try, nor will I put it past the majority of the populace to comply mindlessly as they have with everything else.”

Another person pointed to the crowded high streets across towns and cities in England.

They said if people continue to flout social distancing rules it would inevitably lead to another lockdown.

They said: “Yes a third lockdown is bound to happen.

“You only have to look at the crowds in the streets and bars to know that.

“These people will not do social distancing. That’s why the numbers are rocketing now.”

On Friday 28,507 fresh infections were recorded in the UK and 489 deaths.

The latest figures from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) show the reproduction number, or R value, of coronavirus transmission across the UK is estimated to have risen to between 1.1 and 1.2.

The ONS said the proportion of people in private households testing positive for Covid is estimated to have increased sharply in London.

The body also said there had been other increases in Eastern England, the East Midlands and south-east England, while rates have continued to decrease in north-west England and Yorkshire and the Humber.

The poll ran from 11.30am on Friday, December 18 to 9am on Saturday, December 19.

A total of 2,081 readers took part. 

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