Fears are growing that Christmas could be cancelled amid concern that a second national lockdown is around the corner.
The government's top scientific advisers today spelled out a worrying rise in the number of coronavirus, and it could have a devastating impact on the festive plans of millions of Brits.
Prof Chris Whitty, England's chief medical officer, and Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK's chief scientific adviser, issued the stark warning with the number of infections roughly doubling every seven days.
Prof Whitty said coronavirus is a "six-month problem" and the seasons will be "against" the UK with Covid-19 showing no signs of weakening in the winter months.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is holding an emergency Cobra crisis meeting on Tuesday to coordinate the UK's response to the oncoming second wave, and it is expected fresh coronavirus restrictions will follow. He will make an announcement before the Commons afterwards.
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Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan is among those calling for Christmas 2020 to be scrapped.
He said on the ITV show: "The virus has not got any less virulent, it doesn't understand rule of six or Boris' idea of having Christmas Day off so we can all amass on Christmas Day and then go back to the rules.
"As if the virus is going, 'Oh okay, I'll leave you alone on Christmas Day.'
"If we miss Christmas Day as a country, if that's what we have to do, we have to do it. This is our war.
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“People have to be realistic about that. Hilary lets bring you in here because you’re the master of all this stuff."
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government wants Christmas to be "as normal as possible".
He said: "The more that we can control the virus now and stop the spread now, the easier it's going to be to have a Christmas as close to normal as possible.
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"If this runs out of control now then we'll have to take heavier measures we'll need in the future."
Many Britons were tweeting they feared Christmas would be cancelled after Prof Whitty and Sir Patrick's announcement.
One wrote: "Nah, this whole year's been cancelled, am not happy that Christmas is gonna be cancelled too."
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Another blasted: "Matt Hancock said he would Christmas would be as normal as possible. What planet is he on? Panto cancelled, Xmas markets following suit, no parties or gatherings, assume Santa's getting the elbow as well…what's his definition of normal exactly?"
One more added: "Guys I think Chris Whitty just cancelled Christmas."
Experts believe the UK could see 50,000 new coronavirus cases a day by mid-October without further restrictions if the numbers continue in the same direction. The country would expect to see 200 deaths per day a month after that.
Christmas dinners could also be stuffed because panic-buying Britons are gobbling up the nation's turkeys.
Fearing a run on turkeys many shoppers are trying to buy them up now so they do not come a cropper on Christmas Day.
Current coronavirus restrictions mean people can not meet socially in groups of more than six, dubbed the Rule of Six.
It has been reported that the rule could be lifted for one day to allow families to celebrate Christmas Day together with Boris Johnson reportedly worried about being "portrayed as Scrooge".
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