As COVID-19 cases of the new mutant rise in England, scientists and health bodies issued a call for stricter restrictions, with some experts asking for a complete lockdown to stop 'tens of thousands' of avoidable deaths.
The Independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has requested the government to put the entire country under the 'Tier 4' category of lockdown, rather than a selected few areas.
The UK has been put under a lockdown on the basis of tier-based division, with some critical areas in 'tier 4' restrictions, and others enjoying the privilege of moving around in tiers 3,2 and 1.
The Sage group has issued a warning ahead of the government review of the tier system on Wednesday, with experts saying that unless the whole country was immediately put under lockdown, there could be 'tens of thousands' of avoidable deaths.
NHS Providers, which represents members within NHS hospitals, mental health, community and ambulance services in England, also called for tier 4 restrictions to be further extended across the country.
The call for a complete lockdown comes when hospitals are under mounting pressure due to rising cases. A new record high of 53,135 COVID-19 cases were reported in the UK on Tuesday.