Christmas will be ‘very difficult’ and not all families will ‘come together’

Christmas is unlikely to be the "usual" celebration it usually is with "families coming together," a scientist has warned.

Professor Jeremy Farrar, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said the UK faces a "very, very difficult" period over the next three to six months.

He told Sky News' Sophy Ridge that a circuit-breaker national lockdown is now needed and claims the UK could soon hit 50,000 coronavirus cases per day.

Prof Farrar urged the public to be "honest and realistic" in what will be a "very, very difficult period."

He said: "Christmas will be tough this year.

"I don’t think it’s going to be the usual celebration it is and all families coming together, I’m afraid.

“I think we have to be honest and realistic and say that we are in for three to six months of a very, very difficult period."

He also said he does not believe a vaccine will be ready in time for the festive period, but believes one could be available within the next six months.

Prof Farrar said it is important to remember the "other infections" that come during winter and said although things look bleak, there is "a light at the end of the tunnel".

He added: "The temperatures drop, we are all indoors more often, we have the other infections that come this time of year.

"It’s much better for us to be upfront and honest now, and say we are in for a really difficult time, but there is light at the end of the tunnel."

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Asked about a circuit breaker lockdown, Prof Farrar said one is needed to reduce transmission rates, as previously recommended by Sage last month.

He told Sophy Ridge: "The second best time to do this is now, and the worst time to do this is at the end of November when things would have really got considerably worse.

"So it’s never too late, it’s better to do it now than in a month’s time."

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