Extend half term circuit breaker & shut pubs to stop spread, demands Professor Lockdown


THE PROFESSOR who demanded Britain go into lockdown in March after claiming 500,000 people could die has said there needs to be an extended “circuit breaker” shut down over half-term.

Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London said if the UK wanted to keep schools open for kids it should shut down pubs and restaurants for two weeks to try and stop the surge of new coronavirus cases.

Pubs and bars might have to close to keep schools open, Professor Neil Ferguson has said

ProfessorFerguson has said a “circuit” lockdown could be the way to cut new infections

Professor Ferguson told BBC Radio Four that Britain was in a “very different” position to March when the initial lockdown was brought in and there were “ten times” as many cases as now.

But he warned huge sacrifices could have to be made to keep schools open and ensure kids get the face-to-face education they need, especially for older kids who are more likely to pass on the virus.

No10 were asked today if more measures for Brits were on the way in the coming days.

A spokesperson said: “We keep all the data under review and if further measures are required, then we will take them while being guided by the principle of doing everything we can to protect both lives and livelihoods.”

Despite being one of the lead scientists telling the PM to introduce lockdown, Professor Ferguson broke strict stay at home orders to meet up with his mistress.

He quit his scientific advisory role to the Government after being caught breaking the rules.

Professor Ferguson warned: “All the teenagers do transmit the virus and we don’t yet know if we can control the virus with high schools open.

“If we want to keep schools open we have to reduce contact in other areas of society more.”

He said he though measures such as the extended half-term “circuit-breaker” lockdown needed to be considered to stop the skyrocketing case numbers without disrupting kids’ schooling.

When asked if he thought pubs and bars should be closed like in cities such as Paris, the gloomy professor said: “Indeed. And we see if you look at track and trace data, the risk factors for a case, attending bars, restaurants hospitality venues is a risk, so yes we may need to consider those measures.

“We have to accept that in other areas we may have to give up more in order to keep them open.”

Professor Ferguson has previously been accused of using dodgy modelling to come up with dramatic warnings of deaths from diseases such as swine flu.

He also warned Brits not to think that because death numbers had not yet surged the virus was less lethal.

“Admissions to hospital, hospital beds occupied with Covid patients and deaths are all tracking cases, they are at a low level but they are basically doubling every two weeks and we just cannot have that continue indefinitely, the NHS will be overwhelmed again.”

Professor Ferguson’s doomsday suggestions come after a data glitch from Public Health England missed almost 16,000 cases.

And the rates of infection have spiralled out of control in areas under local lockdown rules.

Manchester’s rate soared to 529.4 cases per 100,000 people, with 2,927 new cases in the last seven days.

Knowsley and Liverpool have the second and third highest rates, at 498.5 and 487.1 per 100,000 respectively.