Warning that relaxing Covid rules over Christmas 'will cost many lives' as health journals call on Government to scrap plans

In a rare joint editorial the British Medical Journal and Health Service Journal called for the “rash” decision to relax social distancing measures over Christmas to be scrapped.

Tuesday, 15th December 2020, 10:57 am
Updated Tuesday, 15th December 2020, 10:59 am

They said that the Government “is about to blunder into another major error that will cost many lives”.

The warning, authored by HSJ editor Alastair McLellan and BMJ editor-in-chief Fiona Godlee said: “When Government devised the current plans to allow household mixing over Christmas it had assumed the Covid-19 demand on the NHS would be decreasing.

“But it is not, it is rising, and the emergence of a new strain of the virus has introduced further potential jeopardy.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson is being urged to scrap the relaxation of Covid rules over Christmas. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

“Members of the public can and should mitigate the impact of the third wave by being as careful as possible over the next few months. But many will see the lifting of restrictions over Christmas as permission to drop their guard.

“It should now reverse its rash decision to allow household mixing and instead extend the tiers over the five-day Christmas period in order to bring numbers down in the advance of a likely third wave.”

Families were warned they could only join one Christmas bubble and that the households could not change.

The advice added: “When following these new rules, we must each continue to take personal responsibility to limit the spread of the virus and protect our loved ones, particularly if they are vulnerable.”

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