England "urgently needs" third lockdown, says SAGE member

4 January 2021, 11:54 | Updated: 4 January 2021, 14:12

By Fiona Jones

SAGE member Professor Susan Michie told David Lammy that a third lockdown is essential to combat coronavirus.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer first called for a new national lockdown on Sunday, saying coronavirus is "clearly out of control" and the Prime Minister has since confirmed that tougher measures would need to be announced "in due course."

Speaking during a visit to Chase Farm Hospital in north London to meet some of the first people to receive the Oxford vaccine, Mr Johnson said there were "tough tough" weeks to come.

Professor Michie told LBC, "We are in a national crisis. We've had relentless going up of this virus transmission, we have hospitals that are beyond coping now.

"We don't have a plan."

She branded it "absolutely urgent" that this virus is brought under control "taking all the means we have and learning from what has worked in other countries."

"Yes, sadly we do need to have another national lockdown so that the virus can be brought down. But that has to be accompanied by a really fast rollout of the vaccination programme and also...getting a functioning test trace and isolating system.

"Currently my own research shows that 30% of people who have symptoms are not isolating for the required amount of time. If this is the case, it's no wonder we have transmission going up."

Professor Michie said that the reason people are leaving the house illegally is because they need to gain income, for caring responsibilities outside of the house, or to buy provisions.

"In other countries, people are paid to stay at home."

Earlier this morning, Health Secretary Matt Hancock suggested that many areas of England in Tier 3 would have to be moved to Tier 4.

Speaking on Nick Ferrari's morning show, the health secretary said the current Tier system will soon be reassessed following increasing Covid-19 infections across England.

"There are some parts of the country, currently in Tier 3, where the rates are going up fast and we'll review that soon," Mr Hancock said.

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