BORIS Johnson “won’t hesitate” to rip up more Christmas bubbles rules over mutant Covid fears, a minister claimed today – ahead of a possible Tier 4 announcement for millions more.
Robert Jenrick sparked fears the Government may destroy more people’s plans – as he warned that more action may be needed.
He told Sky News: “We have now had time to think again about whether further action is required in other parts of the country.
“That is the decision the PM will need to take in the next couple of days.
“The question is whether we should take action now to try and head it off.”
He advised everyone to continue following the guidance – saying Christmas would be very different for everyone.
Brits in a third of the country in Tier 4 have been told not to meet anyone else this Christmas Day.
People outside of the top level of restrictions are allowed to form a bubble with up to three other households – but just for 24 hours on Christmas Day.
However, everyone has already been told to cut down their Christmas plans, and to not travel or meet too many other people.
Mr Jenrick added: “We are asking people outside of Tier 4 areas to exercise great care…
“If we need to change that in light of the new variant, we won’t hesitate to do so.”
It comes as…
- There were fears Birmingham may be ‘plunged into a tier four lockdown’ after crisis meeting to tackle soaring mutant Covid strain
- The Tiers may be reviewed even earlier amid fears Brits may have a ‘New Year’s Eve blowout’ before lockdown leaving police unable to cope
- The places where Covid variant is spreading most rapidly across UK was revealed – as the mutant strain has been located in 57 places
- Parents are furious over claims ‘schools may close for ALL of January’ after experts claim mutant Covid strain spreads faster in kids
- UK Covid cases saw their biggest ever daily rise with 36,804 infections and 691 deaths as positive tests doubled in a week
Mr Jenrick later confused the situation further, by completely ruling out that any changes could be made – just two days before the big day.
Asked if there will be any new restrictions for December 25, Mr Jenrick told BBC Today programme: “No, tomorrow is Christmas eve.
“We don’t have any intention of changing the guidelines with respect for Christmas.
He was pressed again on whether there would absolutely be no change, and replied: “We are not going to change people’s plans 24 – 48 hours before Christmas.
“However, the PM and others have been very clear, even outside of Tier 4, there is a strong degree of personal judgement to be exercised here.”
The confusion over whether extra Christmas rules may be on the way comes as MORE places are expected to be placed in Tier 4 as early as Boxing Day, the Sun understands.
Ministers and medics met last night after the new mutant Covid strain was detected in parts of the South West, Midlands and the North – areas all currently in Tier 2 or 3.
HOAR understands a “Gold Command” meeting of public health chiefs and ministers was meeting last night to sign off expanding the hardest lockdown measures beyond London and the South East.
Health sources said it would not affect all of England “but there are many areas that need tougher measures and are seeing dramatic cases numbers.”
And an announcement is possible this afternoon after ministers meet for another crunch Covid O summit to discuss the latest information.
Mr Jenrick said today that there were no current plans to put all of England into another lockdown – but stressed more places may go into Tier 4.
The Tier review was due to be reviewed on December 30, but fears the mutant strain is now “everywhere” meant it was brought forward.
A government source said that “things are moving very quickly.”
On Monday evening the Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance warned: “I think it’s likely that measures will need to be increased in some places, in due course, not reduced.”