Boris Johnson said he saw no evidence that a Christmas lockdown was “in planning” as he again insisted that ministers stick to the current plan to fight the coronavirus.
The Prime Minister said that despite the high number of cases, there was no reason to activate the government’s Covid Plan B.
Speaking to reporters during his trip to the G20 summit in Rome, the prime minister said that only the Labor party wanted tougher restrictions at the moment.
When asked if he could guarantee a Merry Christmas, he didn’t answer directly, saying, “I see no evidence at all that any kind of lockdown is in sight.”
His comments follow calls from the NHS Confederation and the British Medical Association, as well as a number of prominent scholars, for the government to take steps to ease increasing pressure on health care.
Coronavirus infection rates have risen across the UK, with the latest Office for National Statistics estimates showing the same percentage of people in England are infected with Covid-19 as they were at the height of the second wave.
Despite the prevalence of the virus in the four nations, hospital admissions and deaths remain well below the January second wave levels, with the introduction of the vaccine believed to be the reason.
Moving to Plan B for England would mean returning to home work counseling and wearing face masks, as well as introducing so-called vaccination records.
The Prime Minister said that while the government is closely monitoring the situation, there is no need for action at this point.
“We watch the numbers every day. Yes, it is true that the falls are high. But they are not currently a reason to go to Plan B, ”he said.
“I think it’s agreed with absolutely everyone, except possibly the Labor Party, so we’re sticking with the plan.”
Mr Johnson reiterated his request for those over 50 to receive the booster, as the protection offered by the vaccines is waning, especially in older age groups.
“I think instead of thinking about new restrictions, the best anyone can do is get the booster jab as soon as it’s offered,” he said.
“That is a very important message. I think people don’t quite know that the first two thrusts are slowly subsiding.
“How sad, how tragic it would be if people with other complications or impairments to their health became seriously ill because they were too sure of their immunity and did not get their booster vaccinations when they needed it
“So please please please everyone can get their boosters.”
His comments come as health teams prepare to visit more than 800 schools across the country this week to offer a coronavirus vaccine to children ages 12-15.
More than 600,000 young people have been vaccinated since the jabs were introduced to this age group in late September, according to NHS England.
Students returning after the October semester break are also advised to take a coronavirus test to try to minimize class interruption and ensure families can enjoy “the best” of the holiday season.
The latest figures showed an additional 166 people had died within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test on Saturday, bringing the total to 140,558 in the UK.
There were another 41,278 cases in the UK, the government said.
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