Normal Christmas ‘depends on our success’ getting virus under control, says PM

The Prime Minister urged people to stick to coronavirus rules to help bring life back to normal in time for Christmas.

While announcing the new three-tier system of alert levels for England, Boris Johnson said a relatively normal Christmas is possible if the public continue to follow guidance on "the basic stuff" such as social distancing and testing.

He told the Downing Street press conference on Monday: "We'll do our absolute best to try to make sure we can get life back to as close to normal as possible for Christmas.

"But that is going to depend, I'm afraid, on our success in getting this virus down and our ability as a country to follow through on the package of measures."

Mr Johnson reiterated his hands, face and space message, adding: "All that basic stuff is essential if we're going to come out of this and allow people to have anything like a normal Christmas."

Meanwhile, England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said the UK will be in a "remarkably" better place next winter than it is now in regard to tackling coronavirus.

Asked what will happen if there is no vaccine for winter, Prof Whitty said: "We collectively, humanity, has a phenomenal capacity to tackle infectious disease.

"Sometimes by vaccine, sometimes by drug, sometimes by other measures, but our track record on this collectively has been remarkable.

"This does not depend on a vaccine.

"Science will support us from many different directions, and I cannot predict, and no-one can predict, what are the combinations of treatments, vaccines, diagnostics and other interventions that we will have available to us, but I am extremely confident that when we go into the next winter we will do so in a remarkably better place than we do today."