The UK has recorded the highest daily figuers of infections since the pandemic started as on Thursday there was another 88,376 cases with 146 further deaths.
On Wednesday the UK reported 78,610 which is being fuelled by the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
A further 1691 Omicron cases were reported today bringing the total number of infections in the UK to 11,708.
Dr Susan Hopkins, of the UK Health Security Agency’s chief medical adviser, told MPs on the health committee that for Omicron, the reproductive value in the UK is between 3 and 5 and during and in March 2020 the R value was above 1, which prompted the first lockdown.
England’s chief medical officer is urging people not to “mix with people you don’t have to” and warned that the record for hospitilisations could be broken within weeks.
The scientists said the government telling Brits to be alert, is not urgent enough. They said in a statement, “The situation is so urgent we must take emergency action now and that means it is imperative to reduce contacts.
“Advice is no longer enough since it does not convey the urgency of the situation.”
In an emergency statement issued on Wednesday the scientists warned, “Christmas is 10 days away – that’s 5 doublings at its current growth rate, making the situation potentially 32 times worse by then.”
Professor Stephen Reicher, of the University of St Andrews told Sky News, it appears we are going through “groundhog day” this year.
He added, “Last year, again, there was concern at Christmas about people mixing but also fears that people wouldn’t abide by restrictions.”
Professor Reicher added, “So what happened is the government said at the same time that you can meet up, but please don’t.
“The danger was that actually led to more socialising because the message from the policy … that you can meet up was louder than the warning.”
He argued that by asking people not to meet up, but not making it law to put a ban in place then the government is causing confusion in the face of a “huge crisis.”
He said, “I do think there are problems.
“I think it would be much, much clearer if actually we got to a position where we brought in measures [which] limited interaction.”