THE Foreign Secretary today vowed that England's new national lockdown will come to an end on December 2 – but admitted 'mistakes' have been made over data used to justify restrictions.
And Dominic Raab says the Government is planning to forge ahead with its three-tier approach from next month – as experts say the system was slowly beginning to work before the new country-wide shutdown.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
Mr Raab made the claims days after Boris Johnson said that if all Brits work together to put Covid “back in its box”, four weeks of restrictions would be enough for “as normal a Christmas as possible”.
In an interview on Sky, Mr Raab said: "We want to get through to December 2, and at that point we will transition back to localised approach, which was always our preference."
However, the politician – who is currently self-isolating after coming into contact with a person who tested positive for Covid – warned there's much work to do beforehand to force the R rate back down.
It comes after Government scientists faced criticism for the figures used to justify the shutdown.
Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance suggested up to 4,000 people a day could by dying within weeks during a Downing Street press conference just over a week ago.
But the claim was quickly derided by critics including former Supreme Court Judge Lord Sumption, who called it "extreme" and said: “That is a figure which no country has ever come close to.
"These are absolute Noddy Land figures.”
Today, Mr Raab congratulated Sir Patrick and chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty on their work during the pandemic – and defended the claim.
"Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance are doing a sterling job," he said.
"The science was never clear, and it's constantly contested."
The second lockdown began because there's a "clear threat to people's health", he said.
But he acknowledged figures provided to the British public – called "scary" by interviewer Sophy Ridge – may have been mistaken.
"We put the data out there and if it's incorrect, of course the very point of the transparency is to allow it to be challenged," he said.
"Mistakes are made or facts have to be changed, and that's the point of transparency."
It was yesterday revealed that Sage scientists want to order Brits who see their families this Christmas to self-isolate for a fortnight afterwards.
Newly-released documents reveal those who spend the festive season with loved ones from different households might have to quarantine in late December and January.
Previously, the experts said Brits may have to wait until summer 2021 to enjoy a Christmas get-together.
Scientists suggested that "planning a summer family get together could replace meeting at Christmas".
But the PM has repeatedly vowed to give Brits "as normal a Christmas as possible".
And some experts believe the UK is already past the peak of the second wave – putting us in "good shape" for Christmas.
Epidemiologist Prof Tim Spector, of King’s College, said the UK's worst-affected regions are showing improvement, but acknowledged "large differences" remain between different areas.
“We urge everyone to respect the restrictions and help get the number of cases down as soon as possible to help the NHS, end the lockdown and get us in good shape for December," he said.
Source: Read Full Article