SAGE scientists have warned of a possible Christmas lockdown and said the public must wear masks and work from home if they are to prevent a Christmas lockdown.
SAGE member Professor Peter Openshaw said current death rates are “unacceptable” and the public must act immediately.
Several unions, including TUC, Usdaw, Unison, Unite, GMB and Aslef, which together represent more than 3 million workers, issued a joint statement calling for a return to work from home, as well as a mask mandate .
They say there are “hundreds” of workplace outbreaks across the country, with cases and deaths continuing to skyrocket.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Prof Openshaw said: “I am very concerned that we have another lockdown Christmas if we do not act soon.
“We know that with public health measures, the time to act is immediate. There is no point in delaying.
“We all really, really want a wonderful family Christmas where we can all get together.
“If this is what we want, we have to put these measures in place now in order to reduce transmission rates so that we can actually come together and see each other at Christmas.”
He added that he believes hospitals are “barely adjusting” to the pressure of thousands of cases.
The alarming statement comes shortly after Chancellor Rishi Sunak appeared to rule out a new lockdown, saying it was “not planned.”
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The chancellor cited the vaccine rollout and booster shots as ensuring that further restrictions will not be needed to slow the spread of covid despite the chancellor conceding it could be a “difficult” winter.
Deaths are reaching alarming levels again, with 180 deaths involving covid-19 reported on Friday.
The documents presented to the government emphasize the importance of booster injections to ensure the continued effectiveness of the vaccine.
There are also fears that spring 2022 could see an increase in infections as immunity to the vaccine wanes.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson stressed the need for the public to come forward for his recalls in order to maintain this immunity, and urged people to “follow the advice” on mask wearing and social distancing.