A member of the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage) said the current lockdown was “too lax”.
Susan Michie, a professor of health psychology at University College London, told BBC Radio 4’s Today, “If you look at the data, it shows that almost 90% of people mostly obey the rules, although we also see more people out and about.
“I think one of the explanations for this is that this is actually a pretty lax ban because we still have a lot of household contact and people go in and out of each other’s houses.”
“If you’re a key nurse, non-essential trader, or nanny, you have mass gatherings on religious events, open kindergartens and, what really matters, you have this broad definition of critical worker, so we have 30-50% of that (School) classes are currently full and so the public transport system is very full of people driving to and from all of these things. “
She added, “It’s definitely too casual because if you think about it and compare us to March, what do we have now?
“We have the winter season and the virus survives longer in the cold. Also, people spend more time indoors and we know that aerosol transmission that occurs indoors is a very large source of transmission for this virus.
“And secondly, we have this new variant that is 50-70% more contagious. You put those two things together. Alongside the NHS crisis, we should have a stricter lockdown, no less stringent than in March. “
Lockdown measures are currently in place across the UK.
A third national lockdown has come into effect in England with all schools closed to most students.
In Scotland there is a legally enforceable home stay in mainland Scotland and Skye. People are only allowed to leave their home for an “essential purpose”, e.g. B. for shopping, exercise, caring for people or participating in an extended household.
All of Wales is on Alert 4, which means people should stay home, avoid mingling with other households, and not travel without a reasonable excuse.
And Northern Ireland is under a six-week embargo, during which non-essential retail stores will close and people will be encouraged to stay at home.
Dr. Justin Varney, director of public health for Birmingham City Council, said hospitals still had not seen the full extent of the patients who contracted coronavirus over Christmas.
The former general practitioner told BBC Radio 4’s Today, “I think we are very concerned. What we are seeing now in the hospital today are the people who got coronavirus about two to three weeks ago.
“So we still haven’t seen the effects of the rapid surge in the NHS that we saw between December 28-29 after the Christmas bubble and after seeing the new variant in the region.”
“It’s going to get much, much worse if we don’t really get this under control, but some of it is already burned into the system and will come out in the next week or two.”
On Friday, the UK saw the highest number of Covid-19 deaths reported in a single day since the pandemic began, while the numbers for cases and hospital admissions also hit record highs.
The government said an additional 1,325 people died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 on Friday – bringing the total to 79,833 in the UK.
There have now been an additional 68,053 laboratory-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK. This is the highest number reported in a single day since mass testing began last May, although it may have been higher in April 2020, with cases estimated as high as 100,000 a day at the height of the first wave.