Experts warn Boris Johnson's 'disturbing decision' to limit gatherings 'with no scientific evidence'

‘Stop panicking and scrap the rule of six’: Experts warn Boris Johnson’s ‘disturbing decision’ to limit gatherings ‘with no scientific evidence’ could have ‘major social consequences’

  • Rule of six shows ‘fundamental misunderstanding’ of Covid Britain, experts say
  • Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine experts criticise new legislation  
  • Another 3,330 cases of coronavirus were recorded in the UK on Sunday

Experts have warned Boris Johnson’s ‘disturbing decision,’ to limit gatherings ‘with no scientific evidence could have major social consequences. 

Professors Carl Heneghan and Tom Jefferson, from Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, have criticised Rule of Six legislation which comes into effect in England, Scotland and Wales today.

Boris Johnson has come under pressure over the plans, which it is hoped will prevent a second Covid-19 spike.

Boris Johnson has been 'beset by anxieties doubts and fear,' experts have warned over Rule of Six legislation that begins today

Boris Johnson has been ‘beset by anxieties doubts and fear,’ experts have warned over Rule of Six legislation that begins today

However the experts, writing in The Telegraph, said: ‘It is a disturbing decision that has no scientific evidence to back it up, and may well end up having major social consequences.’

The column has slammed the Prime Minister’s handling of the pandemic, warning he has been ‘beset by anxieties, doubts and fear,’ and saying he has made a series of errors since returning to work in April, following his own battle with the killer virus.  

The professors go on to criticise the Government’s attempt to blame young people for a recent rise in Covid-19 infections, asking what the purpose of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme was if it was going to cause a rise in cases.

Professor Tom Jefferson has criticised the Government's decision to enforce stricter lockdown rules

Professor Tom Jefferson has criticised the Government’s decision to enforce stricter lockdown rules

They say the Rule of Six will have a minimal impact, citing their years of research at Oxford’s Centre for Evidence Based Medicine, which was set up to improve every day clinial practice. 

They wrote: ‘At its core, the decision to restrict gatherings belies a fundamental misunderstanding of what is happening with coronavirus in Britain.’

The article, in the Telegraph, points out that 600 Covid patients are currently in hospital, compared with 17,000 at the height of the pandemic.

Professor Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, said the new rules show a 'fundamental misunderstanding,' of the current state of coronavirus Britain

Professor Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, said the new rules show a ‘fundamental misunderstanding,’ of the current state of coronavirus Britain

Yesterday five people died with Covid-19, compared with an average of more than 1,000 at the peak of the pandemic. 

Professor Heneghan is director of of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, while Prof Jefferson is a senior associate tutor and an honorary research fellow there too.

MailOnline has approached No. 10 and the Department of Health and Social Care for comment.  

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