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17th Dec 2021

UK needs 10-day lockdown to help stop ‘staggering’ Omicron spread, experts say

Charlie Herbert

Independent SAGE calls for 10-day lockdown

There are calls for pubs and restaurants to stop indoor service with immediate effect

A group of experts have called for an immediate 10-day lockdown to halt the spread of the covid Omicron variant.

Independent SAGE, the equivalent of the official Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies has advised that pubs and restaurants close for inside service with immediate effect.

The calls come as concern continues to grow over the staggering spread of Omicron, with the UK having registered record-breaking daily infection figure in the past two days.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We’re not cancelling events, we’re not closing hospitality, we’re not cancelling people’s parties or their ability to mix.

“What we are saying is think carefully before you go.”

But in an “emergency statement” Indie SAGE called for “limited mixing” from Christmas Day to December 28.

The group said: “The situation is so urgent we must take emergency action now and that means it is imperative to reduce contacts.

“Advice is no longer enough since it does not convey the urgency of the situation.”

Professor Chris Whitty has already urged people to think about which social interactions they want to “prioritise.”

Meanwhile, Dr Jenny Harries, the chief executive of the UK Healthy Security Agency (UKHSA), has said that Omicron is “probably the most significant threat we’ve had since the start of the pandemic,” warning that there will be a “staggering” number of covid-19 cases over the coming days.

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