Britain Facing ‘Tier 5’ National Lockdown as Govt Scientists Push for More Restrictions

TOPSHOT - A man wearing a mask walks past the Regional Science Centre in Oldham, Lancashir
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Britain is facing a ‘Tier 5’ national lockdown as government scientists have told Prime Minister Boris Johnson that the current restrictions are not harsh enough to slow the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has reportedly told the Prime Minister that a national lockdown will be necessary, claiming that the new coronavirus variant is spreading so fast that the R-rate will climb above 1 in January, meaning that the pandemic is considered to be growing.

The so-called ‘Tier 5’ national lockdown would be expected to be more draconian than the national ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown in November in which schools were allowed to remain open, The Sun reported on Monday.

The government scientists have warned that a lockdown in which schools remain open in January will not be enough to keep infection rates down.

“We are ruling nothing out, the new strain is of serious concern. Tier 4 appears to not be strong enough,” a senior Whitehall source told the Express.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick admitted that “it may be necessary to take further action” to confront the spiking infection rates.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove claimed that the government is still planning on keeping schools open in January, but cautioned that there may need to be “trade-offs” put in place.

“As a country, we have decided — and I think this is the right thing to do — that we prioritise children returning to school,” Gove said.

“But we have a new strain and it is also the case that we have also had, albeit in a very limited way, Christmas mixing, so we do have to remain vigilant,” he added.

Already, some 24 million people are living under Tier 4 measures in London and much of the South-East and East of England, with millions more facing the restrictions when the government reviews the tier system on Wednesday.

In response to the supposedly new variants of the coronavirus, some 50 countries have shut down travel from the United Kingdom, and the United States has mandated that all passengers must present a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours before boarding flights to America.

Some have argued against the effectiveness of further lockdowns, including a former Professor of Pathology and NHS consultant pathologist, Dr John Lee, who believes that lockdowns are doing more harm than good.

“Lockdowns might have been efficacious if we lived under a ruthlessly totalitarian regime, like in China – being sealed into our homes with any form of social contact banned. But in such circumstances society would cease to function at all,” Dr Lee wrote in the Daily Mail.

The former Professor of Pathology at Hull York Medical School said that lockdowns may “actually drive the disease to spread more easily” as they might force the virus to mutate more rapidly to survive.

“Lockdowns are a triumph of ill-judged priorities and poor understanding of the virus. The only thing that we can be certain about is the tremendous collateral damage lockdowns inflict. In the past nine months, families have been torn apart, businesses wrecked, jobs lost and opportunities destroyed for millions,” Dr Lee wrote.

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