Sajid Javid has said that restrictions will be a “last resort” and we need to learn to live with Covid.
The health minister said that we have to live “alongside” the coronavirus and that the number of people in intensive care has not followed the same path as it did last year at that time.
But he also warned that the number of people in need of NHS care would soar over the next month.
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Writing in the Daily Mail, He said: “Restrictions on our freedom must be an absolute last resort and the British people rightly expect us to do everything in our power to avert them.
“Since I took on this role six months ago, I’ve also recognized the enormous health, social, and economic costs of lockdowns.
“That’s why I was determined to give us the best chance to live next to the virus and avoid strict measures in the future.”
Matthew Taylor, chairman of the board of directors of the NHS Confederation, which represents health organizations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, said the next few weeks would be “very tough,” the BBC reports.
On Friday, the British daily Covid Cases hit another record high of 189,846.
New Years Eve celebrations have been scaled back across much of the UK as the more contagious Omicron variant continues to power falls.
England is currently subject to the government’s Plan B restrictions, which means that face-covering is mandatory in most indoor spaces and on public transport, while people should work from home whenever possible.
The government opposed calls to introduce new rules in England in the run-up to the New Year, unlike Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which now have stricter rules for pubs, bars and restaurants.
Mr Javid added that England “welcomed 2022 with some of the least restrictive measures in Europe”.
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