Published: 12:45, 24 October 2020
| Updated: 12:47, 24 October 2020
A leading scientist has warned the Government will need to weigh up the consequences of relaxing Covid-19 restrictions on Christmas Day.
Professor Neil Ferguson, whose contentious modelling led to the original lockdown in March, says people will become infected and die should measures be eased over the festive period.
Ministers have said they hope the latest restrictions in England will slow the disease sufficiently to enable families to spend Christmas together.
But Prof Ferguson says the risks of doing so need to be assessed, describing the decision as one of "political judgement".
“It risks some transmission and there will be consequences of that," he said.
"Some people will die because of getting infected on that day.
“But if it is only one or two days the impact is likely to be limited. So that is really a political judgment about the cost versus the benefits."
The infection rate in Kent rose 9% in the week up to October 18 .
Nationally, the latest figures suggest the number of new daily cases across England doubled in a fortnight – although some scientists have said the rate of spread may be slowing.
The Office for National Statistics infection survey estimated there was an average of 35,200 new cases per day in the community in England between October 10 and 16.
That was up 26% from an estimated 27,900 per day for the period from October 2 to 8, and just over double the 17,200 per day from September 25 to October 1.