A doctor on Good Morning Britain has claimed there’s ‘no scientific basis’ behind Government warnings against hugging relatives this Christmas.
Dr Amir Khan joined Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway on today’s show, where he discussed Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty’s comments that people should avoid being tactile with elderly family members over the festive period.
Ben questioned the logic behind Mr Whitty’s warning, given that family members will be allowed to be in close proximity due to relaxing of the rules for five days across Christmas.
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‘The chances of transferring anything, virus wise, has happened because you’ve been in the room for five hours,’ Ben pointed out. ‘Why would giving someone a hug be such a big issue?’
‘What’s important to know is opening up for five days for Christmas is not necessarily a scientific decision, it’s more of a political decision and so trying to balance it out with the science isnt going to work,’ Dr Khan replied.
‘People in households are going to breathing the same air as other people within that area. It’s a tricky balance and there is no scientific basis to it. It’s more about human behaviour and social decision making.’
‘People who do try and observe the rules will be anxious about that,’ Kate said, acknowledging it’s going to be ‘very hard for people trying to stick to the rules.’
Dr Amir agreed, adding: ‘I feel very strongly that opening up over Christmas and having those households is so, so risky.
‘January is going to be so difficult for the NHS and we’re so close to getting those vaccines rolled out.’
Coronavirus restrictions will be relaxed from December 23 – 27 in England, Wales and Scotland.
Northern Ireland has been granted a longer window from December 22 – 28, to allow for travel time between the nations.
Under the rules, families from up to three households will be allowed to meet up indoors or outdoors in all four of the UK nations.
Each nation is currently following their own separate Covid-19 restrictions, which will continue until the relaxation period and will be re-implemented after it ends.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.
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