More government scientists have sought to frighten Britons over the prospect of getting too close to their loved ones at Christmas, including telling people that kissing their grandparents could deliver "a deadly dose" of coronavirus.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that restrictions will be relaxed for five days over the holiday period so that Britons may enjoy family Christmases. However, multiple rules have been attached to the festivities, namely related to the order that no more than three families can interact in a "Christmas bubble" during that time.
The announcement was followed by Professor Andrew Hayward on the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) saying that spending Christmas together will lead to a third coronavirus wave and deaths.
While Peter Openshaw from the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group said on Wednesday, according to The Times, that Britons should "meet outdoors if possible", a suggestion not far off from the World Health Organization which said that people should gather for picnics in the park on Christmas day.
Openshaw also made the alarming statement that "kissing your grandparents may be delivering a deadly dose of the virus".
"Be pleased to see them but keep a safe distance," he said, echoing Health Secretary Matt Hancock who appeared to suggest last week that families should not even be hugging one another.
SAGE's Graham Medley also said that people should socialise outside and even suggested "opening all the windows" in December when having family around. However, Medley made the dire assessment that that would only halve the risk of transmission, saying that if "a lot of people" take the "risk" of enjoying a family Christmas, then it may result in another lockdown in January.
The UK is set to come out of its second lockdown on December 2nd, but the country was informed that regional tiered restrictions would come back into force immediately afterwards. On Thursday, the government released the tiers, with significant parts of the country from the north to the south under the strictest level, Tier 3. Just Cornwall in western England, the Isles of Scilly off the Cornish coast, and the Isle of Wight in the south are in the lowest, Tier 1.
With some 99 per cent of England in the top two tiers, Brexit leader Nigel Farage predicted public rebellion, saying: "This is lockdown in all but name. I think that mass rulebreaking is coming."
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