Another 27,000 deaths ‘are likely if Boris continues on same path’

A further 27,000 excess deaths are ‘likely’ between now and next April if the Government continues with its approach to coronavirus, a former chief scientific adviser has claimed.

Speaking on Sky News, Sir David King said it looked as though the current Government policy was to ‘maintain’ the current level of about 3,000 new infections per day across England.

He said: ‘What we are saying is 27,000 excess deaths are likely between now and next April if the expectation by the chief medical officer is that he would be surprised and delighted if the UK is in the same place next spring.

‘If he’s correct we would still have about 2,000 to 3,000 new infections in England per day and that is the number of deaths that would follow from that.

He added: ‘It looks as if the policy is to maintain the current level of about 3,000 new infections per day across England, while Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland are heading towards net zero.’

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His comments come as chaotic pictures emerged from last night’s ‘Super Saturday’.

Streets packed full of punters across the UK have prompted concern that new measures to reopen pubs and bars may spark a fresh wave of infections.

Meanwhile, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said selected international sporting events and major movie and television productions will get the green light despite the coronavirus outbreak.

The Culture Secretary spoke to Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise this week about how the exemption will allow production to resume on Mission Impossible 7 and 8.

Also, significant darts, horse racing and other sporting events are expected to follow, ministers said.

The easing of rules will see some sports stars and their support teams, as well as international film and TV stars, directors and producers, exempt from quarantine, if they are essential to the event or production.

Under the new rules, sporting authorities, event organisers and the screen industry will need to follow Government Covid-19 secure guidance and put in place ‘stringent protocols’ to ensure that they have a minimal impact on public health.

Exempted individuals will have to live and work in controlled ‘bubbled’ environments behind closed doors, according to the rules.

Mr Dowden said: ‘I’m very pleased that we’ve agreed exemptions from border health measures for a limited number of athletes and events staff, which means the British summer of sport is back on.

‘I am grateful to the sports governing bodies who have worked closely with us to put in place stringent protocols to ensure these events can go ahead safely.

‘It will mean that fans of the British Grand Prix, international cricket and Champions League football can look forward to yet more sporting action on home soil – a further boost to our national recovery.’

Government guidance will also be set out this week to allow small numbers of ‘essential cast and crew’ to travel to the UK without having to quarantine for 14 days.

It was revealed that the Culture Secretary spoke to Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise this week about how the exemption will allow production to resume on the Mission Impossible blockbusters which are shot at the Warner Bros Studios Leavesden in Hertfordshire.

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