Ministers won’t introduce any new Covid restrictions earlier than Christmas in England, Boris Johnson has confirmed, saying there may be not sufficient proof to justify more durable measures.
However the prime minister warned that the speedy unfold of the Omicron variant meant curbs might nonetheless be imposed after 25 December. In a tweeted video message, the prime minister mentioned that whereas the scenario was advanced he understood that individuals wanted to make Christmas plans.
“There is no such thing as a doubt that Omicron continues to surge with a velocity in contrast to something we’ve seen earlier than,” he mentioned. “The scenario stays extraordinarily tough however I additionally recognise that individuals have been ready to listen to whether or not their Christmas plans are going to be affected.
“So what I can say tonight, is that naturally we will’t rule out any additional measures after Christmas – and we’re going to maintain a relentless eye on the information, and we’ll do no matter it takes to guard public well being.
“However in view of the persevering with uncertainty about a number of issues – the severity of Omicron, uncertainty concerning the hospitalisation charge or the influence of the vaccine rollout or the boosters, we don’t suppose immediately that there’s sufficient proof to justify any more durable measures earlier than Christmas.”
The assertion didn’t rule out the potential of post-Christmas curbs being introduced this week, however except the information strikes rapidly that now appears much less seemingly.
Whereas this meant individuals might press forward with festive plans, Johnson mentioned he “would urge everybody to train warning, to maintain defending yourselves and your family members, particularly the susceptible”. Folks ought to take a Covid take a look at earlier than visiting susceptible individuals and guarantee there was correct air flow, he added.
Talking earlier on Tuesday the Cupboard Workplace minister, Steve Barclay, had mentioned he was celebrating Christmas “in a cautious method”, with solely a restricted variety of relations invited over.
The announcement by Johnson follows intense hypothesis after a seemingly divided cupboard assembly on Monday, after which Johnson mentioned additional measures had been nonetheless attainable, with information on the specter of Omicron monitored “hour by hour”.
The dearth of a call, with authorities officers saying they needed to attend for extra information, introduced calls from some Conservative MPs for extra certainty. They mentioned the limbo was affecting individuals’s Christmas plans and the hospitality business.
A number of studies after the cupboard assembly described starkly completely different views, with Sajid Javid, the well being secretary, and Nadine Dorries, the tradition secretary, in favour of speedy motion.
Nonetheless, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, the international secretary, Liz Truss, the schooling secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, and the Commons chief, Jacob Rees-Mogg, had been amongst those that argued extra proof was wanted to justify new measures.
Supply & Picture rights : https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/dec/21/no-new-covid-measures-before-christmas-boris-johnson-confirms
Underneath Part 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “honest use” for functions corresponding to criticism, remark, information reporting, educating, scholarship, and analysis. Honest use is a use permitted by copyright statute that may in any other case be infringing.”