Linda Bauld, professor of public well being on the College of Edinburgh, mentioned individuals ought to assume “very rigorously” about seeing susceptible family members over the festive interval.
The UK Authorities and devolved administrations have agreed a joint plan to chill out social distancing guidelines for 5 days over the festive interval, between December 23 and 27, permitting family and friends to hug for the primary time in months.
However Prof Bauld instructed BBC Breakfast: “From a public well being perspective, I’ve to be completely trustworthy, I feel it is a mistake.
“I feel individuals must assume very rigorously whether or not they can see family members outdoors, or do it in a really modest manner.
“I’m additionally involved in regards to the journey, individuals going from excessive to low-prevalence areas.
“I feel it’s going to have penalties.”
Nonetheless, Prof Bauld added if the Authorities reneged on the pledge then belief in politicians may erode additional.
She went on: “I utterly perceive why governments are doing that. Behaviourally persons are fed up.
“If you happen to’re assembly individuals indoors from different households, there’s poor air flow, perhaps older relations are in these bubbles, sadly as a result of the virus hasn’t been eradicated… I feel meaning the Christmas interval is a threat.”
The newest coronavirus information exhibits, for the seven days to December 7, of the 315 native areas in England, 179 have seen an increase in case charges, 135 have seen a fall, and one is unchanged.
Vaughan Gething, well being minister for Wales, mentioned the nation faces an “extremely critical scenario” with a rising tide of infections because the leisure of guidelines on November 9.
He mentioned the Welsh Authorities may theoretically break the settlement between Westminster and devolved administrations – however added it could trigger a lack of belief.
He mentioned: “There are big points right here about belief within the authorities.
“If we had been to upset these guidelines we’d lose a number of belief from numerous individuals who have caught with us and we’d additionally see I’m afraid a variety of individuals ready to disregard the principles.
“Even with the settlement in place we’re prone to see plenty of individuals transcend that anyway.
“That’s why we’re anticipating a rise after Christmas and why I anticipate there will probably be a rise after New 12 months’s Eve as effectively.”
Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, earlier this week warned the general public to be “very, very wise” and never go “too far” over Christmas, which he referred to as a “very dangerous interval”.
Scientists have already urged individuals to rethink Christmas amid rising infections, warning the nation is heading in direction of “catastrophe”.
Simply because individuals can meet up, it doesn’t imply they need to, based on Impartial Sage.
Impartial Sage can also be calling for a pandemic gas allowance so individuals can maintain their houses ventilated whereas on the identical time turning up the heating to remain heat.
Professor Stephen Reicher, of the College of St Andrews, mentioned: “Proper now we’re heading in direction of catastrophe.
“Given excessive ranges of an infection throughout the nation and the rising ranges in some areas (corresponding to London) it’s inevitable that if all of us do select to satisfy up over Christmas then we pays the worth within the new yr.”