Christina Pagel of University College London said the situation was’ incredibly dangerous’, claiming the wait for Boxing Day was too late

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A scientist today called for a complete lockdown across England to prevent the “whole country” from being on fire

Christina Pagel, professor of industrial research at University College London, said the situation was “incredibly dangerous”

As a new variant of the coronavirus spreads across London and the South East, she said, “We can’t afford to wait for confirmation because it’s only rising so quickly”

The government’s Covid Operations Committee is meeting this morning to see if there are any additional areas to lock down

There are currently around 17 million people in London and the South East in a new “Tier 4”

This level orders residents to stay at home, with a limited number of exceptions – such as school, work, essential shopping, and exercise

Other areas – even all of England – could join Level 4 on Boxing Day, which would effectively put the nation back into lockdown

But Prof Pagel said even acting this Saturday would be late and the current restrictions “obviously not” enough

She told Times Radio, “Tier 4 sits in a sea of ​​Tier 2. The cases in these Tier 2 areas have doubled in the last week, so it’s seriously out of control there.

“And if we just wait and let it spread north, where things are much better under control, the whole country is on fire and I feel like we have to stop it now and protect the north from the north south”

When asked about reports that a national lockdown could be imposed as of Boxing Day, she said, “This is just too slow and reactive, and that’s what we’ve been doing all along

“You wait and wait and wait and then act and we are constantly behind the curve

“I think we have to put the whole country in Tier 4 today, especially in the Tier 2 areas around Tier 4 that are going through the roof right now

“And if we can think about it now, it will be really, really difficult, but the point is to protect these areas””

Currently, people in grades 1, 2 and 3 in England can still meet up to two other households on Christmas Day under the recently reduced rules

Community Secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky News that this could even be threatened He said he won’t hesitate to change the rules again

He warned shortly after 7:00 am, “We are asking people outside of Tier 4 areas to be careful – just to get together with a small number of people and just for Christmas Day”

“If we have to change this in the light of the new variant, we do not hesitate to do so””

But shortly after 8am he seemed to contradict himself and told the BBC, “We’re not going to change people’s plans 24, 48 hours before Christmas”

Boris Johnson said on Saturday there was evidence that the new variant of the coronavirus is 70% more transmissible

However, the government has insisted that there is no evidence that it is more lethal or more resistant to a vaccine

Prof Pagel said: “There is no definitive 100% proof that the new variant is behind it, but there is a lot of different circumstantial evidence

“If it looks like a duck, it walks like a duck, it quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck

National lockdown

World News – UK – Professor today calls for a full national lockdown to keep England on fire