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Government Criticised For Easing Covid Restrictions Over Christmas Period

The Health Service Journal and British Medical Journal editors have written in a combined report that the Government’s Christmas plan will “cost many lives”.

In a joint editorial criticising the relaxing of restrictions over the Christmas period, the editors wrote: “We believe the Government is about to blunder into another major error that will cost many lives.”

This comes after it is suspected that a new, mutated strain of Covid-19 has been found, with particular prevalence in the South-East of the country.

The HSJ and BMJ also wrote that the easing of restrictions 23-27 December may be seen by the public as “permission to drop their guard”.

Although the Government still intend to allow for families to meet up over this period, it insists that the rules are always “under constant review”.

“Michael Gove Covid-19 Presser 27/03” by UK Prime Minister is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

One source told a BBC correspondent, Jessica Parker, that senior Michael Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, is due to host a call with officials in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland “later”.

The editorials that criticised the Government’s plans also stated: “If our political leaders fail to take action, they can no longer to claim to be ‘protecting the NHS’.”

This was one of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s main election promises last December, despite being accused of plans to “privatise” the NHS, and to “sell it off” to the US, by former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Credit: Arise Festival YouTube

The current Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, has pushed for the Prime Minister to convene an emergency COBRA meeting to review the rules for Christmas as they stand now.

He wrote in a letter to the PM: “I understand that people want to spend time with their families after this awful year, but the situation has clearly taken a turn for the worse since the decision about Christmas was taken. It serves no-one for politicians to ignore this fact.

“It is my view that you should now convene COBRA in the next 24 hours to review whether the current relaxation is appropriate given the rising number of cases.”