Boris Johnson is set to do whatever he can to ensure that families will be able to gather together for Christmas this year.
The Prime Minister is believed to be considering mass-testing, a vaccine roll-out or a temporary break from the rule of six.
Sources say that plans for up to three million daily coronavirus tests are underway and work on vaccines being administered from the beginning of December has also begun.
And if these measures don’t work, the Government may urge families to isolate for two weeks before Christmas so that they are able to safely meet in groups bigger than six.
Boris Johnson is set to do whatever he can to ensure that families will be able to gather together for Christmas this year
However, the Department of Health has said that nothing can be guaranteed yet.
The Government has revealed that Parliament will be given a vote on the rule of six on October 6 – which could see it being abolished.
Tory rebels have said they will carry on insisting that all new coronavirus lockdown restrictions are debated and voted on in Parliament.
Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs, wrote in The Telegraph: The British people have shown remarkable willingness to make sacrifices where it can be shown to be beneficial. But this can’t be done on the whim of a Government minister.
‘People who are giving up their freedom, losing out on precious family holidays, seeing their livelihoods ruined, really have a right to expect that someone will be there to ask the difficult questions on their behalf: why is this being done? How long will this go on? When exactly will this end?
Sources say that plans for up to three million daily coronavirus tests are underway and work on vaccines being administered from the beginning of December has also begun
‘If people are banned from seeing their grandchildren or saying goodbye to a dying friend, they deserve some answers.’
Mr Johnson has been under fire from members of his own party desperately urging him to find a way to rid the country of the lockdown measures which were first put in place in March.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Mr Johnson allegedly realised in August that the civil service had lost control of the virus so they both got personally involved, according to an insider speaking to The Telegraph
It was revealed on Friday that the country is in more than £2trillion of debt, partly due to harsh lockdown measures.
The Government’s ‘Moonshot’ programme, which aims to test 10million people a day, is more advanced than previously thought, according to The Telegraph.
And the Prime Minister is aiming for easy access to at-home testing kits that can give a result in 20 minutes which will allow the person taking it a ‘freedom pass’ to continue with their life as normal if the result is negative.
While one source told the newspaper that officials have set a target of at least 3.2million daily tests by December – 13 times the 245,363 people that were tested for the virus in the UK on Thursday.
However another said that it would be more likely to happen early next year and didn’t confirm the three million tests figure.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Mr Johnson allegedly realised in August that the civil service had lost control of the virus so they both got personally involved, according to an insider speaking to The Telegraph.
Ministers are still hoping a vaccine will be approved before Christmas so that as many people over 65 can be treated as possible.
Ministers are still hoping a vaccine will be approved before Christmas so that as many people over 65 can be treated as possible
An early school closure is also being considered so that families would be able to self-isolate in the run up to Christmas so they would be able to safely gather on the big day.
And officials are even considering allowing a two-week quarantine after Christmas – which would lead to a month-long holiday from December 11 to January 10.
Mr Johnson has made it clear that stricter rules could follow his ‘rule of six’, which wouldn’t allow larger groups to spend Christmas Day together.
And some advisers have even suggested that a complete ban on any mixing of households should be enforced.
But on Friday night a spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care played down the claims, saying: ‘These figures and timeline are wholly inaccurate and do not represent expectations or planning. We are investing significant resources into piloting new tests and vaccine development.’
Some 6,874 people tested positive for coronavirus on Friday. The death toll rose by 34.