Cases of the new mutation of Covid grew “exponentially” during the November lockdown, minutes from the Government’s Nervtag committee reveal, in papers which suggest Tier 4 measures may not be able to stop its march.
Records of their meeting last Friday detail the scientific findings which led the Prime Minister to order sweeping restrictions.
As well as suggesting that the new variant is 71 per cent more transmissible than the previous strain, the analysis suggests that the infectiousness could push up the R by as much as 0.93.
– The Government has pledged to provide refunds for rail and coach tickets bought for the previous Christmas travel window between Dec 23-27.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said this would apply to journeys in England booked on or after Nov 24, when the Christmas travel window was announced.
Mr Shapps said: “This ensures no one is left out of pocket for doing the right thing – staying home in Tier 4, and elsewhere staying local and only meeting your Christmas bubble on Christmas Day.”
It comes after Boris Johnson announced a dramatic scaling back of the Government’s relaxation of restrictions over Christmas, which is now limited to just Dec 25 for people in Tiers 1-3 in England, rather than the initial five days.