England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty has told people to ‘prioritise’ social interactions ahead of Christmas.

Speaking to the health and social care parliamentary committee, Whitty said: “People want to protect the time that is most important to them. And that does therefore mean in practice, it is sensible for people to cut down on work or other interactions with people, including potentially social ones, which are less important to them so that they reduce their chances of catching covid.”

But there was some good news, as Whitty tentatively said: “The upswing will be incredibly fast… It’ll probably therefore peak really quite fast.

“My anticipation is it may then come down faster than previous peaks.”