GMB’s Dr Hilary Jones rages at Britons over Christmas parties – ‘It will be a disaster!’

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Speaking on ITV Good Morning Britain, Dr Hilary Jones blasted people who are demanding Christmas be celebrated as normal as he claimed allowing families to do so would be a “recipe for disaster”. He said: “A lot of our viewers are saying are you kidding? Of course, the virus is not going to take a five days break at Christmas. And there are a lot of people who can’t celebrate Christmas.

“People who work in the NHS, doctors and nurses, paramedics, emergency workers, policemen.

“They work normal duty on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Christmas Eve.

“And everybody else wants to party. They want to want to have their celebrations, their roast turkey and five households gathering together.

“It’s a recipe for disaster, I’m afraid. Just look at the figures now.”

He added: “What people read in the papers is that acceleration is slowing, but it’s still an acceleration of numbers.

“If we come out of lockdown with no strategy for infection rates, then Christmas is going to be a disaster.

“We’re going to see the results of that in February and March, by which time we won’t have enough vaccines rolled out to protect the population.

“And we will be back to square one. I think we need a bit of reality here.”

The Government will decide next week how to end the second national lockdown as ministers come under pressure to outline any restrictions which could be in place over the Christmas period.

Ministers have insisted it is too early to tell whether the lockdown has succeeded and virus infection levels will be low enough to allow festivities to go ahead but Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said it was his “very firm expectation” that measures will be eased significantly in December.

But the British Medical Association (BMA) said the previous tiered system was “inconsistent” and did not contain the spread of the virus, echoing a Government adviser who warned the tiers needed “strengthening”.

It has now presented its own blueprint for leaving lockdown including “triggers” under which areas would move up and down the tiers.

The blueprint suggests non-essential travel between tiers should be “restricted” and “more robust” quarantine procedures should be put into place.

Social mixing should be encouraged to take place outdoors and there should be a two-metre distance between tables in pubs and restaurants, according to the proposals.

The blueprint also suggests the rule of six be replaced with a “rule of two households”.

Professor Neil Ferguson, whose modelling led to the original lockdown in March, suggested support bubbles could be extended to help enable families to meet at Christmas.

He told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme on Tuesday the proposal would increase the risk of coronavirus transmission but in a “controllable way”.

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“There are ways of going part way which still reduce the risk – basically extending what are called bubbles – social bubbles, support bubbles,” he said.

“You could think of allowing three or four households to bubble together for a week but not contact anybody else, which would give more opportunity to see loved ones but not a free-for-all.

“And that, modelling would suggest, increases risk somewhat but in a controllable way.”

Prof Ferguson also warned that reopening pubs and restaurants in the run-up to Christmas would be likely to lead to rising infection levels.

It comes as the Government announced a further 598 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19 as of Tuesday, bringing the UK total to 52,745.

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