Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the results of a review of his “Plan B” Covid restrictions at the first New Year’s press conference on Downing Street. And warned that a new lockdown was possible, he said: “We have the chance to survive this Omicron wave without closing our country again.”
However, he said the number of people vaccinated means lockdown could be avoided if people take precautions to reduce the risk of infection.
And he said he would tell the cabinet at a meeting tomorrow that the government should proceed with the current “Plan B,” which does not include strict lockdown restrictions.
Read more: What Labor Leader Keir Starmer said during his visit to Birmingham
Key announcements included:
1) No new lockdown for the time being
Mr Johnson announced last December that measures he called Plan B would go into effect to slow the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. As of December 10, face covering became mandatory in most indoor events, and in the days that followed, people were advised to work from home while the NHS Covid Pass became mandatory in the NHS app for nightclub entry.
Today he revealed the results of the review of how well Plan B is working and said the country will abide by current rules. This means that no new blocking measures will be introduced for the time being.
2) More people should get a “booster” shot
The prime minister said it was “heartbreaking” that up to nine out of ten people in hospital with severe Covid symptoms have not received a booster. He said, “There are still nearly nine million people who haven’t had a thrust.” And he urged everyone to “be reinforced now”
3) Daily lateral flow tests for key workers
Mr Johnson said the government has identified 100,000 critical workers in areas from food processing to transportation to our border guards who are given a free lateral flow test every day.
4) Army is called in to help hospitals
Mr Johnson said the government was using volunteers to help the NHS and identified NHS trusts that needed military support.
5) New hospital beds are to be created
The government was building new “Nightingale” hospitals to expand capacity in the NHS, Mr Johnson said.
6) The Covid-19 health crisis is far from over
Mr Johnson said, “Anyone who thinks our fight against Covid is over is sadly completely wrong.”
7) High infection rate
Mr Johnson said, “One day last week we had 200,000 people who tested positive.”
Figures show that more than 400,000 booster and third doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been recorded across the UK in the past four days.
As of January 3, a total of 34,363,986 additional doses had been dispensed, for the first time since December 30, when the number stood at 33,924,738.
That means that from New Year’s Eve through January 3, 439,248 booster and third doses were recorded.
About 64% of all adults in the UK have now received a booster or third dose. The figures were published by the four UK health authorities.
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