MINISTERS and medics yesterday bickered over a second national lockdown as cops called for clarity to avoid festive chaos.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
No10 is now considering a Tier 4 in which only schools and essential shops remain open and travel is limited to getting to work and classes.
But scientific advisers want tougher national action.
An attendee at the Government’s Covid war committee said deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam had given an “extremely bleak” update on England’s increasing infection rate.
It came as figures showed 126,065 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the week to October 21 — up 23 per cent on the previous week.
‘TIERS NOT WORKING’
Dr Mike Tildesley, who sits on the Sage advisory group, said the current tier system was not working.
He added: “We need to move away from these regional firefighting techniques to try to move to something more national.”
Sage member Sir Mark Walport — a former government chief scientific adviser — said a new lockdown was “pretty likely with the way the numbers are going up’’.
Miriam Deakin, director of policy at NHS Providers, urged a “tougher, quicker” response to ease pressure on hospital bed occupancy.
Prof David Nabarro, of the World Health Organisation, said action must be taken now to avoid a third national lockdown early next year.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said the PM firmly believed a short national “circuit-breaker” lockdown would be a mistake.
He added: “You can’t have a stop-start country.”
Ms Patel said the increasing figures meant the Government could “rule nothing out”. She insisted ministers are focussed on stopping the spread of Covid.
It came as revellers hit pubs in Nottinghamshire last night before it entered Tier 3 at a minute after midnight.
Meanwhile, police chiefs warned of Christmas “chaos” unless Whitehall keeps forces in the picture.
Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness said: “We want to know things early. We need to be talking before, during and after regulations.
“I don’t want police forces to be painted as the Grinch that spoiled Christmas.”
GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL email@example.com