An Independent Sage remember has reiterated the group’s call for nationwide tier 4 measures, as millions more were plunged into the highest level of restrictions in England.
Dr Zubaida Haque said the committee were “very worried” and said tier 4 was needed “everywhere now to save lives”.
Her comments came on the same day more than six million people were added to the list of those in tier 4 areas, which now makes up 43 per cent of England. Other areas have gone into tier 3 or tier 2, as changes came into force on Boxing Day.
Restrictions over Covid-19 have been stepped up elsewhere in the UK, with the whole of mainland Scotland placed under the toughest level of restrictions in the country, forcing all non-essential retail and hospitality to close.
Tough new restrictions that were eased in Wales for Christmas Day were reimposed on Boxing Day, and a new six-week national lockdown started in Northern Ireland.
The stricter measures face by millions come against the backdrop of the new more contagious variant spreading in the UK - which Sweden and Spain announced they had detected within their borders today.
Footfall was down 60 per cent in town and city centres across the UK as Boxing Day sales commenced during a period of strict lockdown for most of the country.
Meanwhile, Hungary stole a march on its fellow EU nations as it began vaccinating its people against Covid-19 on Saturday, a day ahead of rollouts in several other countries including France, Germany and Spain.