Chris Whitty has urged the British public to work together to lower coronavirus cases after Boris Johnson announced a three tier system for the UK. The chief medical officer explained that while the measures put in place will help slow the spread of COVID-19, more needs to be done by local authorities. He noted that the tiers have scope for local leaders to work with the directors of public health and impose measures suited to the area.
Speaking from Downing Street, Mr Whitty said: “I am very confident that the measures that are currently in place are working to slow the virus and these measures will help to slow it further.
“I am not confident and nor is anybody confident that the tier three proposals for the highest rates would be enough to get on top of it.
“That is why there’s a lot of flexibility in the tier 3 level for local authorities guided the by the directors of public health, who are absolutely superb, to actually go up that range so they can do significantly more than the absolute base.
“The base will not be sufficient, I think that it very clearly the professional view.
READ MORE: ‘He must resign!’ Piers explodes at Hancock breaking own curfew rules
“But there are quite a lot more additional things that can be done within that with local guidance.
“The central thing about this is these only work if people buy into them.
“I don’t just mean political leaders, although it’s absolutely essential that they do.
“But also everybody has got to buy into them because that’s how it works. Everybody doing their bit within this.”
Tory former minister Steve Baker asked: “By when does (Mr Johnson) expect to have vaccinated the vulnerable population, what is his confidence in that date and why does he have that confidence?”
Mr Johnson replied: “Alas, I can’t give him a date by which I can promise confidently that we will have a vaccine.
“There are some very hopeful signs not least from the Oxford AstraZeneca trials that are being conducted.
“But, as he knows, Sars took place 18 years ago, we still don’t have a vaccine for Sars.
“I don’t wish to depress him, but we must be realistic about this. There is a good chance of a vaccine, but it cannot be taken for granted.”