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Susanna Reid: October firebreak lockdown would be ‘incredibly depressing for people’

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Good Morning Britain’s Susanna Reid said plans for a potential October lockdown are “incredibly depressing” and warned the public may not accept it.

A member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) told the i paper the UK is about to enter “an extended peak” of infections and hospitalisations.

They said it could push the NHS past breaking point and require the government to re-introduce restrictions over the school half-term at the end of next month.

Ms Reid, 50, told viewers on Tuesday’s GMB: “I want to just point out this will be incredibly depressing for people to hear.

“But is it also a possibility? I wonder if they did would there be adherence to it?

“Of course people appreciate we have to do what we can to suppress infections and nobody wants to get sick with Covid. But people are 18 months on. I think they might think, hang on a moment, what's going on here?”

Journalist Kevin Maguire, who was a guest on the show, commented: “Susanna though, it's responsible government.

“You've got to have contingency plans in case something gets terrible but if deaths soar above 1000 a day as they were then you have to take some measures.”

Dr Hilary Jones also agreed it would be necessary to impose restrictions if Covid cases continue to rise at the current rate.

He said: “So there what's going on with Covid-19, and the other side of it is how the NHS is coping. We have a huge backlog of people waiting for surgery.

“It's going to take years not months to catch up with the existing backlog. If we have a rise in cases then we have a massive health problem.

“Nobody wants another firebreak but it simply might happen if we see another rise.”

However, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said he has seen no plans for an October “firebreak” lockdown if cases rise this autumn.

Asked on BBC Breakfast whether the government is looking at a possible lockdown in October, he said: “No, I haven’t seen any... I know where this question comes from. The i newspaper was reporting they think there could be a possible lockdown.

“Look, vaccines have given us the ability to reduce infections, to save 100,000 lives.

“It is through the booster programme that I hope... We can transition the virus from pandemic to endemic status and deal with it year in, year out. It is going to be with us for many years but not have to close down our economy or take the severe measures we had to sadly take in December of last year.”

The government’s daily update on Monday showed there were 41,192 new cases, compared to just 26,476 on Bank Holiday Monday.

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