Boris Johnson has said the tough new tier system is enough to avoid a lockdown in the New Year.
He told a press conference that the new tiered coronavirus restrictions are essential for England to keep the disease under control.
He said, “Those dangers have not disappeared.
“If we calm down now, we risk losing control of this virus all over again, putting aside our hard-won gains and forcing us back to a national lockdown for another year with all the damage that would mean.”
He added that the “tough measures” in the new system of localized constraints are the “best way to avoid this outcome”.
Chief Science Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said the previous tier system failed to lower the infection rate sufficiently.
Speaking at a press conference on Downing Street, he said, “The message is that the levels worked in terms of slowing down, but not in terms of flattening and reversal.
“The national lockdown looks like it has leveled off and is heading down, and it is important that we bring it down as the numbers remain high.”
Sir Patrick said one in 85 people in the country currently has coronavirus, numbers he said were “very high.”
Professor Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England, said even under the new Tier 1 tier system would lead to an increase in infections.
He said, “Level 1, which is very similar to the previous level 1, slowed things down, but never stopped the rise.
So the reason why level 1 at this time of year, with the current measures that we currently have before we have vaccines, is relatively limited is that almost certainly anywhere will rise to level 1 and the only places out there , are places with very low rates at the moment. “
Sir Patrick says it’s important to make sure the level is strong enough in winter, saying, “You have to go hard enough for the current situation to get things under one.
“And that is much more difficult in the winter.”