Analysis

Will another winter lockdown be needed?

Ministers insist there are no plans to clamp down on social mixing this Christmas, but are refusing to rule out the possibility. Samuel Lovett considers the likelihood of a return to restrictions

Tuesday 21 September 2021 16:14
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<p>‘It is frustrating to see the pointless fight to have things return to complete freedom during a pandemic, when the mid- to long-term outcome ends up being harsher restrictions over longer durations,’ said one virologist </p>

‘It is frustrating to see the pointless fight to have things return to complete freedom during a pandemic, when the mid- to long-term outcome ends up being harsher restrictions over longer durations,’ said one virologist

Cancelling Christmas is “very much not the plan”, Boris Johnson has said, amid concerns of a spike in coronavirus cases during the forthcoming festive season.

The prime minister said the government does not “expect to have to do anything like last Christmas” when spiralling infection rates forced him to implement restrictions on social mixing.

The emergence of the Alpha variant in the run-up to Christmas 2020, alongside previous failings in controlling the spread of Covid-19, intensified the size and scope of the UK’s winter wave, leading to tens of thousands of more deaths across the four nations.

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