Defence Secretary: If we start reversing the figures then we all can look forward to a better Christmas

19 November 2020, 08:33

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Defence Secretary pledges if we start reversing the Covid-figures "then we all can look forward to a better Christmas."

With the news England could face a month-long lockdown in exchange for being able to spend time with family over Christmas LBC's Nick Ferrari questioned a Government Minister.

Nick asked Defence Secretary Ben Wallace if he supported the idea of a Covid lockdown for most of January, the answer was that as a Lancashire MP he has been in "tier 3" lockdown already.

He told LBC he would like the country to get out of lockdown as soon as possible

"I would love to be able to go down to the pub, I would love to get back to some kind of normal."

He said the way he could do that quickly was by being best informed closer to the decision point.

He explained to LBC that the decision on a Christmas lockdown would be made closers to the 2nd of December, and "not in the middle of November."

Adding it would mean the Government can be "more certain" about future actions.

The Minister acknowledged that people would "want to be together for Christmas," but added that "we want to make sure that we protect our elderly relatives."

Mr Wallace said he was not in the Covid planning group, "other than I provide the soldiers when requested."

But he added he would be "guided by the science."

Praising the work of the military in Liverpool where a new mass testing scheme has been rolled out, Mr Wallace said: "If we start reversing the figures then we all can look forward to a better Christmas."

Epidemiologist Doctor Susan Hopkins initially said that for every one day of relaxed restrictions over the festive periosd, two days of tighter restrictions would be needed.

Dr Hopkins told a Downing Street briefing: "We are very keen that we have a Christmas as close to normal as possible."

But Public Health England just hours later clarified that SAGE advice states that for each day of relaxed restrictions, five days of tighter restrictions will be needed.

Dr Susan Hopkins, the medical adviser to the Government's Covid-19 response, said ministers are working on what the "new tiers" will be after the anticipated easing date for lockdown and on a plan for Christmas.