England could see in the New Year with a lockdown as the mutant coronavirus strain ravages the nation.
Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance warned that measures would "need to be increased" in areas outside Tier 4 – hinting at what would be in effect a third national lockdown.
His comments come amid spiralling case numbers being blamed on a new strain of Covid-19 which is thought to be up to 70% more infectious.
The Government’s Chief Medical Officer, Chris Witty, has already warned that the number of patients in hospital is on course to match April’s peak by December 31.
Professor Witty warned the numbers will continue increasing in January, reports the Daily Mail.
And while Boris stopped short of suggesting a third lockdown, he did concede that significant restrictions would be in place for months to come.
The PM insisted that we would be in a "very different world" by Easter.
A mutated strain of coronavirus thought to have first emerged in Kent is currently causing chaos.
European countries appear to be cutting ties with the UK as border closures come into play to avoid it spreading.
Police rule out knocking on doors to break up illegal Christmas gatherings
Meanwhile, Sir Patrick warned that the variant is "more transmissible", adding: "We’ve got to make sure we’ve got the right level of restrictions in place."
The expert said the virus was "everywhere" sparking warnings that more of the country could see their tiers changed.
A third of England is currently living in the newly-created Tier Four, which is close to a full lockdown as Brits are warned to stay-at-home, The Sun reported.
Plans to relax the rules on Christmas Day have been scrapped amid warnings from scientists that the mutation will spread fast.
Citing the infectious new strain, the Prime Minister announced on Saturday afternoon that Christmas could "no longer go ahead as planned".
And Boris has thrown the lives of school kids up in the air by admitting he can’t promise when schools will reopen.
It comes as scientists warned that the new strain might be more easily spread among younger children.
Sir Patrick told the nation last night: "I think it is likely that this will grow in numbers of the variant across the country, and I think it's likely therefore that measures are going to need to be increased in some places, not reduced."
The new strain has previously been called "out of control" by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
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