With 25,161 confirmed new instances within the UK introduced yesterday and 18,038 coronavirus sufferers in hospitals, No10 stated the newest developments can be stored “beneath evaluation”.
Nonetheless, the virus is continuous to unfold in some areas already in Tier 3 and instances have been rising in London even earlier than lockdown ended on December 2.
The speed of an infection within the capital rose to 319.3 instances per 100,000 individuals — the very best within the nation — within the week to December 13, up from 199.9 the earlier week, Public Well being England knowledge revealed on Thursday.
Requested about the potential for a 3rd lockdown, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman stated: “We’ve been away from the rationale behind the tiered regional strategy and that’s what we’ve set out for the time.
“That’s designed to scale back the speed of transmission and scale back the R price in areas of excessive prevalence.
“As we’ve stated all through we’ll clearly maintain the newest knowledge and the newest developments beneath evaluation.”
Wales is already going right into a highest degree lockdown from 28 December, to be reviewed after three weeks.
Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney stated harder restrictions after Christmas, together with a possible lockdown, is a “risk” as a result of a “rising tide of Covid”.
London was hit with practically 32,000 new instances within the week to December 11 and the illness is spreading in each borough.
Scientists and medical chiefs imagine the epidemic is more likely to develop much more in coming weeks as winter bites, a time of 12 months when respiratory ailments are inclined to peak.
They’ve additionally warned will probably be fuelled by social mixing between households over the festive interval, although faculty and office closures may put downward strain on the virus.
The present guidelines enable three households to kind a festive bubble between December 23 and 27 besides in Wales, the place the legislation is being modified to limit it to 2.
Mayor Sadiq Khan urged Londoners to “critically contemplate” if bubbles of fewer than 3 households could also be extra smart to “maintain your loved ones protected”.
He added: “If we present actual warning now, it’s extra doubtless we are able to keep away from a 3rd damaging lockdown within the New Yr.”
The Bishop of London, the Rt Reverend Sarah Mullally, appealed to individuals “to assume onerous about who they see, and to do the whole lot they’ll to guard their family members”.
She added: “It’s the braveness and dedication of our key staff above all else that created the prospect to see our households this month. We must always now all work collectively over Christmas to make sure that their efforts weren’t in useless.”
Within the Commons, Jeremy Hunt, Tory chairman of the Commons well being committee, urged Mr Hancock to provide “readability” on the Christmas steerage, including: “No matter the legislation or the rules, ought to we or ought to we not have indoor social gatherings with aged and susceptible relations?”
The Well being Secretary responded: “Folks ought to act with nice warning.”
As he introduced the brand new tiering allocations, Mr Hancock warned that case charges within the South East of England are up 46 per cent within the final week whereas hospital admissions are up by greater than a 3rd.
Within the East of England instances are up two-thirds and hospital admissions up by practically half within the final week.
He emphasised that outbreaks may solely be contained if individuals adopted the social distancing and self-isolation guidelines.
“This can be a large workforce effort,” he stated.
“Even with the foundations in place, it is just when the group basically comes collectively to get this beneath management that you simply get the instances coming down.”
Nonetheless, Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer stated he was involved that the tier system was “simply not robust sufficient to manage the virus”.
He stated: “We’ve been seeing the numbers going within the fallacious course throughout the nation within the final seven days specifically.”