IT is “inevitable” that there will be more cases of Covid-19 over Christmas, said Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government’s chief scientific adviser at last night’s Downing Street briefing.

That means that it is also inevitable that more areas of the country will go into Tier 4 lockdown in the New Year.

Throughout the pandemic, the Government has tried to reflect the sunnier, more upbeat side of the Prime Minister’s personality, but the downside of that is that the worst case scenario seems to get overlooked and so the Government moves too late.

So, even here in the North-East where we have a lower incidence of the new strain of the virus, we must be extremely cautious, keeping our Christmas travel to an absolute minimum, and acting as if we are already locked down. Sorry. Perhaps this way, we can prevent having Tier 4 restrictions forced upon us with all the damage they will do the closed businesses.

Everyone warned the Government that a five-day Christmas free-for-all was too optimistic, and so it proved. Now, with a rapidly transmitting virus on the rampage, the Government’s plans to return children to school in the New Year are also looking very optimistic, no matter how much testing is in place.