Government says it will do 'everything it takes to save Christmas'
Government ministers say they are prepared to do ‘whatever it takes’ to save Christmas from coronavirus restrictions and allow families to meet.
The Government reportedly aims to deliver around 3 million tests a day, and potentially release a vaccine as early as the beginning of December, according to the Telegraph.
If these measures are not put in place in time, families could be told to self-isolate for two weeks before Christmas to allow them to gather safely in groups larger than six.
As infection rates and hospital admissions continue to rise in the UK and across Europe, Boris Johnson addressed the nation on Tuesday, urging people to ‘work from home if they can.’
With the festive period only three months away there are concerns the renewed enforcement of the ‘rule of six’, which might last up to six months, could disrupt Christmas celebrations.
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has faced increasing pressure from within his own party to avoid the strict lockdown restrictions which were enforced in March.
Parliament is scheduled to vote on the ‘rule of six’ on October 6 in order to decide whether the order remains in place.
The coronavirus pandemic has already disrupted numerous religious festivals and holidays this year, leaving many families unable to gather together.
Hours before Eid celebrations began, a last-minute lockdown was imposed in the north which banned indoor meetings between separate households across households in Greater Manchester, parts of West Yorkshire and East Lancashire.
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, will also look very different for Britain’s Jewish community amidst renewed lockdown measures.
There is also a strict clamp down on those who fail to self-isolate, with fines of up to £10,000 in England under plans to avoid a second wave.
Under the Government’s £100billion ‘Operation Moonshot’ programme, ten million daily Covid tests could be rolled out as early as next year.
In a Downing Street press conference on September 9, the prime minister promised the Government would carry out 500,000 tests a day by the end of October.
He said: ‘We will double our testing capacity by the end of October, to 500,000 tests a day, and we are already testing more people than any other country in Europe.’
The PM said rapid tests not yet available, which could deliver results in 20 minutes were crucial for mass testing.
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer criticised the Prime Minister on Wednesday, accusing Mr Johnson of ‘pretending there isn’t a test and trace problem.’
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