In an announcement launched on Saturday, shadow well being secretary Jonathan Ashworth mentioned the virus was now “uncontrolled” in components of the nation, as he urged the Prime Minister to set out how he intends to stem the most recent virus surge.
“It has been obvious for some days that the virus is once more uncontrolled in components of the nation. The Authorities‘s tiered system has didn’t stem its unfold,” he mentioned.
“That is an extremely severe second and individuals are apprehensive. The Prime Minister has refused to take motion to restrict the virus’ unfold over Christmas. All he has supplied thus far is confusion and indecision.
“He should now tackle the nation to elucidate what motion he shall be taking.”
His feedback got here amid hypothesis the federal government is planning to make an announcement on Saturday a couple of virulent new Covid-19 pressure, which is believed to be behind an increase in infections throughout London and components of the south-east in latest days.
In Friday, the NHS in Kent introduced it was suspending non-urgent hospital procedures, saying it was treating double the variety of sufferers it had on the peak of the primary wave in April.
The transfer got here as the most recent figures from the Authorities’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) confirmed the R quantity for the UK was estimated to have risen to between 1.1 and 1.2 – which suggests the illness is rising once more.
On the similar time, there are issues a couple of doable upward spike in circumstances as guidelines on households mixing are relaxed over the Christmas interval.
The newest tiering adjustments in England – which got here into pressure on Saturday morning at one minute previous midnight – imply 38 million folks at the moment are residing below the hardest Tier 3 restrictions, 68 per cent of the inhabitants of England.
The areas that moved into the very best tier embrace Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, most of Surrey, Peterborough, Hastings and Rother on the Kent border of East Sussex, and Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant in Hampshire.
Bristol and North Somerset have moved down from Tier 3 to Tier 2 whereas Herefordshire dropped into Tier 1 – though the county’s public well being director raised issues in regards to the leisure.