The government is being advised to pencil in a series of circuit breaker lockdowns for all the remaining school holidays this academic year, according to The Times.
Ministers have been told that the Test and Trace system is no longer able to keep up with rapidly rising infections, and measures need to be taken to prevent longer lockdowns and further damage in future.
Why a series of circuit breakers?
Scientific advisers believe the three tier restriction system introduced earlier this week will not be enough to stem the rising tide of infections, and some are calling for a series of circuit breaker lockdowns to coincide with school holidays.
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It is thought that pre-planned circuit breaker lockdowns could be a better option than being forced to adopt more harsh and sudden lockdowns reactively, which may need to last longer. The move would also allow minimum disruption to schools and colleges, while allowing families to plan ahead.
Speaking to BBC’s Newscast, SAGE member Professor Jeremy Farrar said, “The base restrictions are not going to be enough to turn the epidemic around and prevent the hospitalisations, and they’re also going to damage the economy.
“The longer you leave it, the epidemic will spiral out of control. The earlier you act, the bigger impact you will have. And the longer you leave it, or you are indecisive or put off decisions then ultimately the harder you will have to act.”
What about the current system?
It has been reported that Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam told local leaders in the North of England that a national lockdown was the only policy guaranteed to work.
Documents published by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) earlier this week show that the group recommended a two week circuit breaker lockdown in late September to try and bring the virus under control.
And some believe that a national circuit breaker lockdown could be announced by the end of next week, if the three tier system fails to bring the growth of infections down.