Covid spread ‘entirely preventable’ by following guidance, says senior medic

People need to follow guidance on hand washing, social distancing and face coverings to stop the "entirely preventable" spread of coronavirus, a senior medic has warned.

Adrian Boyle, vice-president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said staff are tired, feel helpless and at risk of burnout.

He told the PA news agency the idea that coronavirus cannot be controlled just "doesn't wash".

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Coronavirus impacts Britain
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Coronavirus impacts Britain
Nurses hold their hands up to signify a free bay, as members of the public receive the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine at Lichfield Cathedral, Staffordshire. (Photo by Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images)
Members of the public at Lichfield Cathedral, Staffordshire, to receive the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. (Photo by Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 14: National Health Service (NHS) staff demanding pay raise stage a protest outside Downing Street in London, England on January 14, 2021. As coronavirus death toll reaches over 100.000, health system in UK is reportedly under extraordinary pressure. (Photo by Tayfun Salci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Shuttered shops are seen along deserted streets in the City of London on January 15, 2021, during the third coronavirus lockdown. - Britain's economy slumped 2.6 percent in November on coronavirus restrictions, official data showed January 15, 2021, stoking fears that the current virus lockdown could spark a double-dip recession. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Inside one of the storage units at the overflow mortuary at Breakspear Crematorium in Ruislip, London which will provide an additional 20% in capacity for public mortuaries in London, helping to relieve pressure on hospitals and council-run morgues. (Photo by Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images)
A public coronavirus information sign is surrounded by snow in Auchendinny, Midlothian. Heavy snow and freezing rain is set to batter the UK this week, with warnings issued over potential power cuts and travel delays. (Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images)
A man wearing a face mask walks past an advertising board in London, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021 during England's third national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Only a few people use the escalator at a tube station in London, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021 during England's third national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
A jogger exercises on the banks of the river Thames with the backdrop of Tower Bridge in London, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021 during England's third national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
A Deliveroo cycle courier rides past COVID-19 information boards in Liverpool, on January 13, 2021, as non-essential retailers keep their shops closed, due to England's third lockdown. - Britain's interior minister on Tuesday warned that anyone flouting coronavirus lockdown rules would face action from the police, as the government vowed to step up enforcement measures to cut surging infection rates that risk overwhelming health services. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Lee Ullha receives an injection of a Covid-19 vaccine at the Depaul UK homeless shelter in Oldham, Greater Manchester. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
Shoppers in Brixton, south London, during England's third national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. (Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)
A Union flag flies from a building on Ludgate Hill in central London as Britain is in its third lockdown due to the coronavirus on January 12, 2021. - People who flout coronavirus lockdown rules are putting lives at risk, the British government said today, as cases surge to record highs and rumours swirl of potentially tougher restrictions. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Members of the public arrive to receive their injection of a Covid-19 vaccine at the NHS vaccine centre that has been set up at the Millennium Point centre in Birmingham. (Photo by Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images)
A shopper wearing a face mask enters a Sainsbury's store in south east London. Supermarkets are being called on to revert to more stringent in-store coronavirus measures with members of the public urged to respect regulations when out grocery shopping. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
An empty carriage on the Jubilee Line underground train during the morning rush hour in London, as England's third national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus continues. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
Commuters on the concourse at Waterloo Station during the morning rush hour in London, as England's third national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus continues. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
People walk across Millennium bridge in central London as Britain is in its third lockdown due to the coronavirus on January 12, 2021. - People who flout coronavirus lockdown rules are putting lives at risk, the British government said today, as cases surge to record highs and rumours swirl of potentially tougher restrictions. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Rita Passey receives her injection of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine at the new Millennium Point NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Centre on 11th January 2021 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. This coronavirus vaccination centre which is one of the first in the UK with the aim to vaccinate 15 million people by mid-February will administer 600 vaccines on it's opening day, rising to 1200 on the following days and approximately 2500 per day as of the second week. Customers all receive a letter and can come to the vaccine centre from a 45 mile radius. Once in the vaccine lane they are asked health related questions and asked to give consent to being vaccinated after being advised of any possible side effects. (photo by Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images)
Police officers arrest a member of the public at an anti lockdown protest held by The Scotland Against Lockdown group outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, Scotland on January 11, 2021. (Photo by Andy Buchanan / AFP) (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Paramedics and hospital staff attend to a patient outside the Royal London Hospital in London. A "major incident" was declared by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan last week warning that the spread of coronavirus threatens to "overwhelm" the capital's hospitals. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11: People queue outside the mass NHS Covid-19 vaccine centre that has been set up at the Millennium Point centre in Birmingham on January 11, 2021 in Birmingham, England. The location is one of several mass vaccination centres in England to open to the public this week. The UK aims to vaccinate 15 million people by mid-February. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
BRISTOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11: A general view of the mass vaccination centre at Ashton Gate Stadium on January 11, 2021 in Bristol, England. The location is one of several mass vaccination centres in England to open to the public this week. The UK aims to vaccinate 15 million people by mid-February. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
Member of staff erect signs outside the NHS vaccine centre that has been set up at the Life Science Centre International Centre for Life in Newcastle. The centre is one of the seven mass vaccination centres which now opened to the general public as the government continues to ramp up the vaccination programme against Covid-19. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
CROSBY, ENGLAND - JANUARY 10: The Tottenham Hotspur bench watch the match in-front of surrounding houses during the FA Cup Third Round match between Marine and Tottenham Hotspur at Rossett Park on January 10, 2021 in Crosby, England. Sporting stadiums around England remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
LEWES, ENGLAND - JANUARY 10: A general view on a frosty cold morning of Convent Field as a member of the public plays football on his own at an empty football pitch on January 10, 2021 in Lewes, East Sussex. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Paramedics tidy up an ambulance wearing PPE outside the Royal London hospital in London on January 10, 2021 as surging cases of the novel coronavirus are placing health services under increasing pressure. - Medical chiefs in England raced to boost treatment capacity on January 10 as a surge in coronavirus cases risked overwhelming hospitals, even as the government stepped up its mass inoculation campaign. A leaked briefing suggested that London's hospitals were on the brink of running out of beds, endangering the lives of patients needing critical care. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
CROSBY, ENGLAND - JANUARY 10: Jose Mourinho, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur speaks to the media as he is interviewed pitch side after the FA Cup Third Round match between Marine and Tottenham Hotspur at Rossett Park on January 10, 2021 in Crosby, England. Sporting stadiums around England remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 10: A pedestrian wearing a mask walk past a Kensington and Chelsea community notice displayed outside Town Hall in Kensington, where symptom-free coronavirus tests are available on January 10, 2021 in London, England. England is expanding rapid "lateral flow" testing across all 317 local authorities, prioritising people who cannot work from home. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 09: An air Ambulance arrives at The Royal London Hospital in London, U.K., on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. London Mayor Sadiq Khan declared a major incident in the U.K. capital on Friday and warned the state-run National Health Service is at risk of being overwhelmed by a surge in coronavirus cases. (Photo by Kate Green/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 09: Paramedics push a patient from an ambulance into The Royal London Hospital in London, U.K., on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. London Mayor Sadiq Khan declared a major incident in the U.K. capital on Friday and warned the state-run National Health Service is at risk of being overwhelmed by a surge in coronavirus cases. (Photo by Kate Green/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
A young man wearing a face mask waits beside government messaging telling people to stay at home, displayed at a bus stop in Whitechapel in London, England, on January 9, 2021. England began a third national lockdown on Tuesday in a bid to stem coronavirus transmission across the country. In the capital, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan yesterday declared a 'major incident' for the city over coronavirus pressures, warning that hospitals could soon be overwhelmed with patients with covid-19. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 9: Police detain several anti lockdown protestors in Brockwell park Brixton whom had initially gathered near Windrush square before heading into the park on January 9, 2021 in London, England. Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty has filmed an advert for HM Government warning that people should stay home as the COVID-19 virus is spreading across the country. Despite these warnings the protest group StandUpX are demonstrating against coronavirus lockdown measures and vaccines. ( Photo by Guy Smallman/Getty Images)
Ambulances outside the Royal London Hospital, after Mayor of London Sadiq Khan declared a "major incident" as the spread of coronavirus threatens to "overwhelm" the capital's hospitals. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
HYDE, ENGLAND - JANUARY 08: A woman sits in her car as she is administered the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine at a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination centre at Hyde Leisure Centre on January 08, 2021 in Hyde, England. The coronavirus drive-through vaccine centre is believed to be the first in the world. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 09: Elodie, a young resident, wears a mask as she rides her bike, on January 09, 2021 in Brisbane, Australia. According to reports, Queensland has recorded no new cases of coronavirus overnight as Brisbane residents remain under lockdown. Greater Brisbane is under a three-day lockdown until 6 pm on Monday, January 12 after a cleaner working at one of the city's quarantine hotels tested positive for a new variant of the Covid-19 strain that originated in the UK. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)
A couple wear face coverings as they stroll past illuminated trees on the Southbank in London, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
A man wearing a face covering walks past the London Eye in London, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Ellen Prosser, known as Nell, who is 100 years old, receives the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from Dr Nikki Kanani at the Sunrise Care Home in London, as the government continues to ramp up the vaccination program. (Kirsty O'Connor/Pool Photo via AP)
An advert shows the word 'Hope' at an unusually quiet Piccadilly Circus, in the normally busy tourist and sightseeing area of London, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
People outside the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, Thursday Jan. 7, 2021, join in applause during the nationwide Clap for Heroes event to recognise and support NHS workers and carers fighting the coronavirus pandemic in the latest lockdown. (Yui Mok/PA via AP)
The London Eye on the bank of the River Thames is lit with blue lights to show support for the NHS in London, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. Buildings across the country are being lit with blue lights to thank the work by NHS staff in caring for people during the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
A woman wearing a face mask, walks across Westminster Bridge past the Houses of Parliament in London, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Police officers detain a protestor during an anti-COVID-19 lockdown demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, central London on January 6, 2021. - Britain toughened its coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday, with England and Scotland going into lockdown and shutting schools, as surging cases have added to fears of a new virus variant. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Police officers attempt to detain a protestor and his dog during an anti-COVID-19 lockdown demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, central London on January 6, 2021. - Britain toughened its coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday, with England and Scotland going into lockdown and shutting schools, as surging cases have added to fears of a new virus variant. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
People walk by coronavirus-themed graffiti on Meriden Street in Birmingham. Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. (Photo by Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images)
A few shoppers at Bullring Open Market in Birmingham, England, Wednesday Jan. 6, 2021, as food stalls are permitted to remain open during the latest lockdown restrictions. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. (Jacob King/PA via AP)
Workers sit amongst empty market stalls in Leeds, northern England on January 6, 2021, on the second day of Britain's national lockdown to combat the spread of COVID-19. - Britain toughened its coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday, with England and Scotland going into lockdown and shutting schools, as surging cases have added to fears of a new virus variant. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
A woman runs past some graffiti in Edinburgh, the morning after stricter COVID-19 lockdown measures came into force for mainland Scotland, Tuesday Jan. 5, 2021. (Andrew Milligan/PA via AP)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 04: Evie the bulldog looks out of a front window as children Eryn, Ewen, Gwen, Emily and Olivia watch Prime Minister Boris Johnson make a televised announcement on January 04, 2021 in Manchester, England. The Prime Minister announced tougher Covid-19 measures following a sharp increase of cases, driven in part by a new variant of the virus that officials say is more infectious. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
A family in Knutsford, Cheshire, watch Prime Minister Boris Johnson making a televised address to the nation from 10 Downing Street, London, setting out new emergency measures to control the spread of coronavirus in England. (Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 05: Ambulances line up as a government sponsored electronic sign gives out coronavirus pandemic information to visitors and staff at the Aintree University Hospital on January 05, 2021 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. British Prime Minister Johnson made a national television address on Monday evening announcing England is to enter its third coronavirus lockdown within a year. On Monday the UK recorded more than 50,000 new confirmed Covid cases for the seventh day in a row. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A quiet Piccadilly Circus, London, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
IMAGE PIXELATED BY PA PICTURE DESK Paramedics transfer a patient from an ambulance into Southend University hospital in Essex, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05: A sign warning of the rising cases of Coronavirus on January 05, 2021 in London, England. British Prime Minister made a national television address on Monday evening announcing England is to enter its third coronavirus lockdown of the year. On Monday the UK recorded more than 50,000 new confirmed Covid cases for the seventh day in a row. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
A man walks by an almost deserted Victoria Square in Birmingham during the first day of the new national lockdown. Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. (Photo by Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures, during a visit to view the vaccination programme at the Chase Farm Hospital in north London, Monday Jan. 4, 2021, part of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. Johnson warned Sunday that more onerous lockdown restrictions in England are likely in the coming weeks as the country reels from a coronavirus variant that has pushed infection rates to their highest recorded levels. (Stefan Rousseau/Pool Photo via AP)
82-year-old Brian Pinker receives the Oxford University/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from nurse Sam Foster at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, England, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. Pinker, a retired maintenance manager received the first injection of the new vaccine developed by between Oxford University and drug giant AstraZeneca. (Steve Parsons/Pool Photo via AP)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 04: Members of the public walk through a deserted Edinburgh City Centre on January 4, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Scottish Parliament will be recalled this afternoon to consider further coronavirus measure in an attempt to tackle the rapid increase in cases. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Practice Sister Tina Sutton (L) hands over an information leaflet after administering a dose of the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine to Derek Davies Games at the Pontcae Medical Practice in Merthyr Tydfil in south Wales on January 4, 2021. - Britain on Monday began rolling out the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, a possible game-changer in fighting the disease worldwide. (Photo by Geoff Caddick / AFP) (Photo by GEOFF CADDICK/AFP via Getty Images)
Naomi Carpenter, a 20-year-old sports rehab student at Hull University, takes a swab for a lateral flow Covid-19 test at the campus sports facilities on January 4, 2021, as students return to the university. - Britain -- one of the worst-affected countries by the global health crisis, with more than 75,000 deaths -- is pinning its hopes on the jab as the mainstay of its mass vaccination drive. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
John Murphy CEO of Oasis Community Learning unboxes gloves at Oasis Academy Coulsdon in Coulsdon, south London. A mass testing programme is being executed in schools across England to safely accept pupils back into the classroom. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
Pupils arrive at Manor Park School and Nursery in Knutsford, Cheshire, as schools across England return after the Christmas break. (Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images)
A view of a poster informing on Coronavirus safety measures outside Floreat Wandsworth Primary School in Wandsworth as primary schools across London and the south east of England will remain closed until January 18 due to high coronavirus infection rates, on 03 January 2021 in London, England. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Paramedics wheel a patient into the Royal London Hospital in east London on January 3, 2021. - The British prime minister said on January 3 he was "reconciled" to the prospect of tougher restrictions to combat spiralling coronavirus cases. Health Services are under increasing pressure after record levels of daily lab-confirmed cases of Covid-19 has led to more patients being treated in hospital in England than during the initial peak of the outbreak in April. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Ambulances are seen outside the Emergency Department of St Thomas' Hospital in London on January 3, 2021. - The British prime minister said on January 3 he was "reconciled" to the prospect of tougher restrictions to combat spiralling coronavirus cases. Health Services are under increasing pressure after record levels of daily lab-confirmed cases of Covid-19 has led to more patients being treated in hospital in England than during the initial peak of the outbreak in April. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Ambulances parked outside the ExCeL in east London which is the site of one of a number of Nightingale hospitals prepared last year at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and which the NHS says is being reactivated and made ready to admit patients as hospitals in the capital struggle as Covid patients numbers rise. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Embargoed to 1630 Saturday January 2, 2021 Assistant Technical Officer Lukasz Najdrowski unpacks doses of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine as they arrive at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath, West Sussex.
Police patrol Barry Island, Wales, which usually draws crowds for the New Year day swim, but is relatively empty as the country is in Level four of its coronavirus restrictions, the highest level available, due to the surge in coronavirus cases.
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 01: Members of the public brave cold waters in River Forth to take a New Year dip in front of the Forth Rail Bridge on January 1, 2021 in South Queensferry. Restrictions have been placed on many new year festivities around the world including the annual Loony Dook as countries attempt to curb spikes in new coronavirus cases. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
LONDON / UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 1:Two women celebrate the new year in front of the Big Ben in London, England on January 1 2021. London Mayor Sadiq Khan cancelled the show and the celebrations this new years eve. (Photo by Tayfun Salci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Fireworks and drones illuminate the night sky over London as they form a light display as London's normal New Year's Eve fireworks display was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON / UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 1: Big Ben shows the arrival of the new year in London, England on January 1 2021. London Mayor Sadiq Khan cancelled the show and the celebrations this new years eve. (Photo by Tayfun Salci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
A man wearing a face covering walks past graffiti on the Lower Newtownards Road in Belfast with a message reading 'Wear a mask, it hasn't gone away you know'. (Photo by Liam McBurney/PA Images via Getty Images)
Mounted Police officers attempt to disperse crowds gathered near Westminster Bridge in London, Britain, 31 December 2020. The government is discouraging people from celebrating New Years Eve and urging them to stay home as coronavirus cases in the UK continue to surge. (Photo by Maciek Musialek/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - DECEMBER 31: Two people wearing protective face masks walk down an empty St. Mary's Street on December 31 in Cardiff, Wales. Wales went into a Level 4 lockdown from midnight on December 19. All non-essential shops have closed and people have been advised to stay home in a bid to curb the infection rates in one of the worst hit areas of the UK. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 31: A couple pose for a friend's photograph as they hold a sparkler in front of the London Eye, in what would normally be a ticket-only area filled to capacity waiting for the annual fireworks display, on December 31, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. New Year's Eve Celebrations have been curtailed in the UK this year dues to Coronavirus pandemic restrictions. With most of the UK in tiers three and four, socialising is off limits. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 31: Police officers speak to two revellers near to the London Eye on December 31, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. New Year's Eve Celebrations have been curtailed in the UK this year dues to Coronavirus pandemic restrictions. With most of the UK in tiers three and four, socialising is off limits. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Christmas lights adorn trees in a deserted street in the centre of Edinburgh on New Year's Eve, December 31, 2020, as authorities hope people stay at home and do not come to celebrate Hogmanay this year in the city. - The streets of Scotland's capital are normally packed at Hogmanay, as people from around the world flock to see in the New Year in raucous style. As with so much else, the coronavirus outbreak has put paid the celebrations, putting Scots in a gloomy mood made worse by Britain's parting of the ways with Europe. (Photo by Andy Buchanan / AFP) (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Revellers enjoy a night out in central Liverpool, northwest England, on December 30, 2020 before hightened Tier 3 restrictions closing hospitality venues, and bars indoor and outdoor socialising between households are imposed in the city amid surging cases of the novel coronavirus. - Tighter coronavirus restrictions will be extended across England from on December 30 the British government announced, with a new Covid-19 variant blamed for a rapid surge in cases. Liverpool enters Tier 3, which closes hospitality venues, and bars indoor and outdoor socialising between households with the highest Tier 4 rules, which require all non-essential shops, hairdressers as well as leisure and entertainment venues to close, will now apply to more than 44 million people. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Note to eds: picture has been pixelated by PA Picture Desk to protect identity of patient. A patient arrives by ambulance at Southend University hospital in Essex. Hospitals in the county have declared a major incident and local authorities, concerned about the number of Covid-19 cases, have asked for military help to increase hospital capacity, with fears over critical care, bed capacity and staff sickness. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/12/30: A lady wearing a face mask a preventive measure against the spread of covid 19.walks on the street. As daily Covid19 infection rate hits record high in London, the government is pinning its hopes on the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab. (Photo by Pietro Recchia/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/12/30: General view of an empty and deserted Camden High Street, London. Most businesses and shops remain closed as much of England moves into Tier 4 restrictions and the UK sees a record number of coronavirus cases. (Photo by Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A man wearing a face mask walks past a sign in a shop window, as further changes to England's tier system are expected to be announced, just days after millions of people came under harsher coronavirus restrictions on Boxing Day. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
A woman reads a copy of the Silent Patient by author Alex Michaelides as she queues at an NHS Covid-19 vaccination centre for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in London on December 30, 2020 as cases of the virus continue to soar and the Government raises restrictions around the country. - Britain on December 30 became the first country in the world to approve AstraZeneca and Oxford University's low-cost Covid vaccine, raising hopes it will help tackle surging cases and ease pressure on creaking health services. As daily Covid infection rates hit record highs, the government is pinning its hopes on the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, which is cheaper to produce, and easier to store and transport. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
People queue at an NHS Covid-19 vaccination centre for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in London on December 30, 2020 as cases of the virus continue to soar and the Government raises restrictions around the country. - Britain on December 30 became the first country in the world to approve AstraZeneca and Oxford University's low-cost Covid vaccine, raising hopes it will help tackle surging cases and ease pressure on creaking health services. As daily Covid infection rates hit record highs, the government is pinning its hopes on the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, which is cheaper to produce, and easier to store and transport. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE-UNDER-LYME ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29: A lady wearing a mask rides a sledges down a hill in on December 29, 2020 in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, England. Heavy snow fall has covered the West Midlands as the Met Office has issued yellow warnings throughout the day. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
A traffic information board as traffic flows on the M80 near Banknock, Scotland after severe lockdown restrictions were announced for December and January with all of the country moving into the highest level of lockdown from Boxing Day. (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)
People walk passed Coronavirus related posters on a wall in Glasgow after severe lockdown restrictions were announced for December and January with all of the country moving into the highest level of lockdown from Boxing Day. (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)
A pedestrian wearing a protective face covering to combat the spread of the coronavirus, crosses the road near the Royal Exchange and the Bank of England in the City of London on the bank holiday, December 28, 2020, as Londoners continue to live under Tier 4 lockdown restrictions. - Business breathed a sigh of relief this week after a post-Brexit trade deal was agreed, but many issues remain unresolved, notably the place of financial services, which represent 80 per cent of the British economy, as the newly inked deal focuses on trade in goods. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: A pedestrian walks past the St Thomas' Hospital emergency department on December 28, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. The hospital recently opened a new critical care unit, increasing the trust's capacity to treat critical COVID-19 patients, while minimising impact on non-covid clinical services. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
A couple walks past Christmas decorations at the Ritz London. Under tier four restrictions, pubs and restaurants will close, as well as �non-essential� retail. (Photo by Pietro Recchia / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Shoppers seen on Henry Street in Dublin city centre on St. Stephen's Day. Taoiseach Micheal Martin announced on December 22nd a series of new Level 5 restrictions designed to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Among them are restrictions on the movement of people and the opening of all non-essential retail shops (shops may remain open but have to postpone January sales). The Department of Health reported today a new daily record of new cases for the Republic of Ireland, with 1,296 new cases and 6 deaths (2,294 new cases and 26 deaths confirmed on the island of Ireland). On Saturday, December 26, 2020, in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Two Garda officers seen patroling on Henry Street in Dublin city centre on St. Stephen's Day. Taoiseach Micheal Martin announced on December 22nd a series of new Level 5 restrictions designed to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Among them are restrictions on the movement of people and the opening of all non-essential retail shops (shops may remain open but have to postpone January sales). The Department of Health reported today a new daily record of new cases for the Republic of Ireland, with 1,296 new cases and 6 deaths (2,294 new cases and 26 deaths confirmed on the island of Ireland). On Saturday, December 26, 2020, in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Activities coordinator Claire Paver at Aspen Hill Village care home in Hunslet, Leeds.The care home is able to host almost 50 visits for family members this Christmas after running successful trials of lateral flow testing for coronavirus. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 25: Piccadilly Circus has hardly anyone on the streets on Christmas Morning as new lockdown measures have been put in place on December 25, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. Last week, the British government scrapped a plan to allow household mixing in England for five days over Christmas. In London and southeast, household mixing was banned, and in other parts of the country indoor meetups were confined to Christmas Day. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/Getty Images)
Three women hand out food and water to drivers in their vehicles on the M20 near Ashford, Kent, where hundreds of travellers are spending Christmas Day as they wait to resume their journey to the Port of Dover and across The Channel now that the borders with France have reopened. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 24: St Paul's cathedral hold their annual Christmas service on December 24, 2020 in London, England. The cathedral has remained open for services and private prayer each day, as places of worship are permitted to stay open under England's Tier 4 covid-19 restrictions. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - DECEMBER 24: A woman rings bells from the doorstep of her house in Rhiwbina on December 24, 2020 in Cardiff, Wales. The event, sparked by Mary Beggs-Reid, from Harrogate, North Yorkshire, was conceived to "end 2020 with a bit of magic, hope and togetherness." Last week, the British government scrapped a policy allowing multiple households to mix for five days around Christmas. In London, people are not allowed to meet indoors under rules meant to curb the spread of covid-19. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
A man conducts a COVID-19 test on a driver at the Port of Dover in Kent, England, Thursday Dec. 24, 2020 where thousands wait to resume their journey across The Channel after the borders with France reopened. Trucks inched slowly past checkpoints in Dover and headed across the Channel to Calais on Thursday after France partially reopened its borders following a scare over a rapidly spreading new virus variant.(Aaron Chown/PA via AP)
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Dr Boyle added: "We are worried about staff burnout, staff are tired, they have worked really hard over the summer, they have put up with a lot of disruption.

"This time people are frustrated, this is now an entirely preventable disease, we know what we did in spring made a lot of this go away. There's also now a vaccine.

"The idea that we are dealing with something that can't be controlled doesn't wash, this is a preventable disease and we need to be preventing it."

Dr Boyle said washing hands, wearing face coverings and keeping your distance from others stops the spread of the infection, and he also thanked people for not partying on New Year's Eve.

He added: "There are a lot of things we could be doing as a society to stop this spreading and a lot of it is simple stuff around washing your hands, keeping your distance, wearing a face covering.

"In the NHS we need to thank all those people who gave up their New Year's Eve parties to stay at home, which was the vast majority."

His echoed comments from NHS England's chief nursing officer Ruth May, who thanked people for staying at home and celebrating the start of 2021 safely.

She tweeted: "Thank you 2 everyone who stayed home last night & saw New Year in safely. [sic]

"Sadly, a small number of people still didn't follow the rules. Reckless & irresponsible behaviour puts themselves & others in danger & will inevitably add 2 pressure on our staff at this tough time #teamCNO."

Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said New Year's Eve was "quite quiet" in London, where Tier 4 restrictions mean most places are closed.

He told BBC Breakfast: "I think the public have really cottoned on that this is really serious, the position that we are in, and we did not see the numbers we thought we would."

Meanwhile, the Government said there had been a further 53,285 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK as of 9am on Friday, with another 613 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

HEALTH Coronavirus
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This was down from a new record high of 55,892 cases reported on New Year's Eve – the highest since mass testing began in late May.

Separate figures published by the UK's statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on fatalities that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 90,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.

More than a million people have now received their first coronavirus vaccination, and a joint statement from England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and his counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland said the public will "understand" and "thank" them for a plan to give first jabs as a priority, delaying the follow-up vaccination for others.

The deployment of the newly-approved Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine will begin on Monday, almost a month after the rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, but second doses of either will now take place within 12 weeks rather than 21 days as initially planned.

Professor David Salisbury, a former director of immunisation at the Department of Health, said he backs the revised Covid-19 vaccine strategy.

The associate fellow at the Chatham House think tank told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Of course I accept it is inconvenient and isn't helpful to have to change appointments and explain to people (about the delay in receiving a second jab), but the reason for doing this is to save lives.

"We know how many have been vaccinated, and across the whole country it isn't all that many, but every time we give a second dose right now, we are holding that back from someone who is likely, if they get coronavirus, to die, and much more likely to die than somebody who has already had a single dose."

HEALTH Coronavirus
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Figures published on New Year's Eve show just less than a third of acute trusts have more Covid-19 patients than at any point since the pandemic began, with union leaders warning about staff burnout, soaring sickness levels and "intolerable" pressures.

The situation is dire in Northern Ireland, where bed occupancy in the health service is now at 100%, with ambulance crews braced for long delays.

All of mainland Scotland and Skye remained under the highest coronavirus restrictions as 2021 began.

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