Millions face being plunged into Tier 4 lockdown as coronavirus numbers spiral

Millions more Brits face being plunged into Tier Four as Coronavirus cases across England continue to run rampant.

Fears are growing that the NHS could be overwhelmed as infection numbers spiralled over Christmas.

Ministers are set to review the Tiers on December 30 and swathes of the country face a New Year in a new tier.

Millions of Brits are already living under tough restrictions as officials desperately try to stem the spread of a highly-contagious new strain.

The total number of patients in hospital with the killer bug is likely to surge past the previous peak in the first wave, figures suggest.

On December 22, 21,826 patients were treated, with numbers peaking in April at 21,683.

In the past seven days, 248,199 people have tested positive for coronavirus – a 30 per cent week-on-week rise.

Hospitals across the south of England have seen a “real rise” in pressure with paramedics across the capital receiving 8,000 call outs a day.

Boxing Day was hailed as one of London Ambulance Service's (LAS) 'busiest ever days'.

  • Primary school children, kids of key workers and year 11 and 13 to return in January

Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, told the BBC: "We're seeing a real rise in the pressure for hospital services, but also other types of NHS services as well… ambulance trusts in particular are coming under extreme pressure, as are community and mental health services".

Tier 4 lockdown measures affect 24 million people, approximately 43% of the UK's population, with large swathes of England also under restrictions in Tier Two and Three.

Downing Street is due to meet with officials at the Department for Education on Monday to discuss whether schools should be kept open in the event that harsher measures are needed, it is understood.

Millions face being told to stay at home as the regulations are reviewed on Wednesday as some trusts warn they are setting up makeshift beds as their rooms are so full.

During the last review, Sussex, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire moved into Boris’ newly created Tier Four.

Meanwhile the NHS has recruited an army of 10,000 medics and volunteers who are on standby to rollout the Oxford jab.

The vaccine is expected to be approved within days in what is seen as a game-changing development by Whitehall.

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