Health Department Matt Hancock couldn’t rule out an extension of the lockdown, as a health chief warned the tiered system to which ministers want England to return may need to be strengthened.
The health minister said it was “too early for us to know” whether coronavirus cases are being adequately treated to facilitate the second shutdown on December 2nd.
Boris Johnson hopes the nation will return to local restrictions, but Dr. Susan Hopkins of Public Health England, who stood next to Mr. Hancock at the press conference in Downing Street on Monday, said the lowest level of previous measures had “little effect”.
Dr. Hopkins, who advises the government’s Covid-19 response, said they should consider stepping up measures “to get us through the winter months until the vaccine is available to everyone”.
And Mr Hancock said the government doesn’t yet have the data to understand the implications of the lockdown – or whether it can be lifted.
“It is too early for us to know how many cases there will be by the end of the current lockdown,” said the health minister.
“But we absolutely hope to be able to replace the national lockdown with a tiered system similar to what we had before.”
Dr. Hopkins said Tier 2 local restrictions appeared to have worked in some areas but “not so well” in others.
“We’re seeing very little impact from Tier 1 and I think when we look at what levels might be in the future we need to think about strengthening them to get us through the winter months until the vaccine is available to everyone is. “She added.
The government announced an additional 213 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 on Monday, bringing the total to 52,147 in the UK.
The Prime Minister continues to isolate himself after meeting MP Lee Anderson, who tested positive for Covid-19.