ALL of England will need to be under severe Tier 3 Covid restrictions by mid-December, gloomy scientists have told ministers.
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The Government’s Sage advisory body has warned that by the festive season, virus rates all over the country will soar past the levels seen in areas already put into the “very high” category.
The Sun has learned that the latest government modelling overseen by chief scientist Sir Patrick Vallance shows more than 25,000 will be in hospital with the virus by the end of November — higher than the spring peak.
That is also more than double the 9,199 who were battling the bug in hospital yesterday.
The revelation came as the UK recorded its highest daily coronavirus death toll since May, with a further 367 fatalities and another 22,885 cases confirmed.
The number of deaths is the highest daily figure since May 27, when 422 were reported.
On average, 200 coronavirus deaths have been reported every day in the UK over the past week.
Sir Patrick had warned the Covid second wave would not hit that grim milestone until mid-November.
It is understood that new modelling prepared by the scientific advisory committee shows a far starker picture than originally feared, with the whole country needing the toughest restrictions in December.
A government source said: “The latest Sage numbers are utterly bleak.”
Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, last night warned that the rising death toll from Covid-19 was likely to continue for some time.
‘A CLEAR ROAD MAP’
The grim medical warnings are a fresh headache for Mr Johnson who is being put under huge pressure by his backbenchers to set out a clear path out of lockdown for those regions currently in Tier 3, predominantly in the North.
More than eight million people in England will be under the most stringent restrictions by the end of the week amid fears West Yorkshire is next.
Nottingham is due to face the stringent measures tomorrow.
Mr Johnson’s close Tory ally Jake Berry now heads up a 50-strong grouping of Northern MPs who are demanding “a clear road map” for the region to relax rules.
The MP said yesterday: “Our constituents have been some of the hardest hit by this virus, with many losing jobs, businesses and livelihoods.
“Never has there been a more pertinent and urgent political and economic case to support people living in the North.”
Mr Berry’s new Northern Research Group insist they are trying to help the Prime Minister.
One member, Barrow and Furness Conservative MP Simon Fell, told Times Radio they were “trying to essentially keep the Government honest on its promises to the North”.
He insisted they “want to be a friendly and helpful voice”.
But a Whitehall source told The Sun: “The exit path these guys want does not exist yet.”
Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi insisted that Tier 3 areas were subject to 28-day reviews but warned virus levels were still too high to begin relaxing any curbs.
And Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson has backed the idea of a possible fourth tier of coronavirus restrictions if Tier 3 measures do not go far enough to halt the spread of Covid-19.
The city is one of five northern locations currently under the strictest curbs.
But Mr Anderson, whose brother Bill was one of 61 people to die with the virus in the city in one week, told the BBC he was not opposed to the introduction of “tougher measures if necessary”.
Meanwhile, experts have warned that closing parks and libraries during lockdown could have a lasting effect on babies and toddlers.
Researchers found three-quarters of young children spent more time watching TV or playing with a tablet due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Youngsters from disadvantaged families were more likely to be staring at screens than reading books, exercising and doing other “enriching activities”.
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The University of Oxford’s Alex Hendry said: “It is clear that during lockdown some babies have been missing out.”
And Dr Nayeli Gonzalez-Gomez, of Oxford Brookes University, added: “The closure of playgrounds and libraries has disproportionately impacted children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“In the event of continued local lockdowns, it is vital that disadvantaged families are given extra support to promote children’s early development.”
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