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Experts Warn The UK Needs A Snap 10-Day Lockdown To Prevent Spread Of Omicron

Stewart Perrie

Published 
| Last updated 

Experts Warn The UK Needs A Snap 10-Day Lockdown To Prevent Spread Of Omicron

Experts believe the UK needs to have social distancing restrictions reintroduced over the Christmas period to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

The new strain is now accounting for the majority of new infections across Britain.

There have been 88,376 new cases recorded in the most recent 24 hours - which is the highest number since the pandemic began.

Independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) believes a quick lockdown of some services could stop another wave of cases during winter.

Credit: Marcin Nowak/Alamy Live News
Credit: Marcin Nowak/Alamy Live News

SAGE is a group of scientists who are working together to provide independent scientific advice to the UK government and public.

They believe the government's approach to this latest variant isn't strong enough.

"Very few measures are in place to prevent its further spread and we are still just at the beginning of the Omicron wave as it becomes dominant in England this week," they wrote in an emergency message.

"Christmas is 10 days away - that's 5 doublings at its current growth rate, making the situation potentially 32 times worse by then.

"Even if growth slows, the situation would still be much worse than now.

Credit: Paul Marriott/Alamy Live News
Credit: Paul Marriott/Alamy Live News

"Every day we wait adds more cases and more eventual burden on the NHS and, sadly, more deaths.

"High infection burden will also cause enormous disruption in society as many key workers fall ill at a time when the NHS will face unprecedented demand - indeed, current evidence points to NHS primary and secondary care in extreme distress."

SAGE believes the UK has already lost the opportunity for 'early action' and the situation is 'so urgent' that 'emergency action' must be taken now.

They say the UK government needs to stop offering advice on what to do because it 'does not convey the urgency of the situation'.

"We now call for an immediate circuit break to then enable limited mixing from the 25 to 28th December. All measures should be re-evaluated over that period to determine what needs to happen after Christmas."

Credit: Paul Marriott/Alamy Live News
Credit: Paul Marriott/Alamy Live News

The group believes the government should bring back Stage 2 of the government's Spring roadmap, which would see indoor retail and hospitality closed but provided with 'adequate financial support'.

They want indoor gatherings between households of any size banned, except for 'bubbled individuals and other roadmap exceptions'.

All close contacts of new cases should isolate for 10 days under SAGE's plan and they should get financial support during their isolation.

They also want to allow parents to pull their kids out of school early without being fined by authorities.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made it clear that they will be sticking to advice at the moment.

"We're not cancelling events, we're not closing hospitality, we're not cancelling people's parties or their ability to mix.

"What we are saying is think carefully before you go."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Omicron, UK News, News

Stewart Perrie
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