EVERYONE should stay at HOME this New Year’s Eve to stop Covid spreading even further, Matt Hancock has warned.
The Health Secretary told Brits across the country they should act as though they are carrying the virus and avoid seeing people outside of their households.
Mr Hancock delivered the warning today, after fresh Covid infections jumped over 50,000 yesterday.
The new variant, which is as much as 56 per cent more contagious, is ripping through the country despite Tier 4 lockdowns in London and most of the South East of England.
Millions more people face being plunged into Tier 4 lockdown today, as ministers scramble to get control of the virus.
But in anticipation of New Year’s eve celebrations, Mr Hancock told everyone to stay at home and only celebrate with their family.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4, he said: “The variant is the majority if new cases.
“What I would say to everybody nationwide, is that everyone can do their bit by reducing social contact.
“If we all act as if we might have the virus, we might not know it, but we will limit the spread of this disease.”
He stressed this advice is “especially for New Year’s”.
“People should stay at hone, unless you have to go out.
“My advice to everybody, particularly on New Year’s, to stay at home.
“Lets all stay in this New Year’s, rather than go out and potentially spread this disease. 2021 can be a year of hope and back to normal life.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan also warned people living in the capital to stay inside.
“Ring in the New Year safely at home with the people you live with,” he said.
It is a legal requirement for people living in Tier 4 areas to stay at home as much as possible.
No10 warned people New Year’s Eve kisses are not allowed under social distancing rules – even in the lower Tiers.
Around half of people in England are living under the strictest lockdown rules, with Mr Hancock set to lay out further Tier restrictions today.
Up to two THIRDS of the country may be put in Tier 4 after Covid cases rocketed yesterday – the highest daily rise since mass testing began.
He told Sky News today: “We are facing a very significant challenge in the NHS right now.”
“There has been a significant rise in the number of cases – the highest number of cases recorded yesterday, 53,000 cases.
“We are going to have to take further action. I’m going to set that out the House of Commons later today.”