Chris Whitty asks adults to ‘please’ get booster jab
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Omicron is sweeping through the nation at a faster rate than any previous variant, with a record high of 93,045 Covid cases announced in a 24-hour period over the weekend. Documents released by the official Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) on Saturday indicated restrictions “similar in scale to the national lockdown” were needed to keep Covid hospital admissions below previous peaks.
And advisers have warned the UK could see over one million Omicron cases in the UK by the end of the month.
Both the Prime Minister and the Health Secretary have refused to rule out any further Covid restrictions.
In a poll of 12,694 Express readers, held on December 19, 52 percent of voters said they would ignore emergency Covid rules this Christmas, while just 31 percent said they would follow the rules.
A significant number of voters, 17 percent, said their decision to follow or ignore Covid guidance would depend on which rules were put in place by the Prime Minister and scientific advisers.
An Express.co.uk reader nicknamed ‘Brooking 0077’ said: “I’ve been jabbed three times against the virus, and I’ve endured the many lockdowns, so this time I’m not obeying.
“It’s cheese and wine parties all the way for me.”
Another reader, Mark, agreed: “I’ve had three covid jabs, one flu jab and a shingles jab this year, so I wasn’t expecting to need any more restrictions.”
Aiming their comments at the Prime Minister, a voter going by ‘Citizen 51’ said: “Not this time twinkle toes, no one attacks Christmas. Enough is enough.
“Had this idiot introduced proper border quarantine over the year, we would have taken him seriously.”
The result comes with investigations ongoing over alleged Christmas parties held at No10 last year.
Sir Charles Walker, the vice-chair of the 1922 committee of Tory backbenchers, said the allegations would have an impact on any future restrictions Downing Street wanted to introduce.
He told Today it would be “very, very difficult now for the Government to have anything but voluntary restrictions on people’s mixing and mingling”.
Sir Charles said: “People, if required in law not to meet friends and relatives, will say, ‘look, it didn’t happen last year at No 10 Downing Street [so] it is not going to happen this year at No 10 Acacia Avenue’.”
The most recent set of rules passed by parliament were met by a huge Tory rebellion.
It was the largest rebellion of Mr Johnson’s premiership.
A staggering 99 Conservative MPs voted against Mr Johnson’s decision to implement ‘Plan B’, activating Covid vaccine passports, compulsory mask wearing and working from home.
On the same day, large crowds gathered in central London to demonstrate against vaccine passports, with several police officers leaving the scene injured.
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Pauline Latham, Tory MP for Mid Derbyshire since 2010, told The Telegraph: “This time last year when we put measures in place we didn’t have the vaccine we now have.
“Many of us have had two vaccines and a booster, a huge number of people have had all three.
“I don’t understand why we are panicking in this way and I’m very, very worried about hospitality businesses.
“This is the time we need to make money, and this is the time that if people feel safe they can go out to hospitality venues. No one’s saying you have to go out. But for people who want to go, hospitality businesses have spent a lot of money making people safe.”
But Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty insists the rise in Covid cases brought about by Omicron needs to be controlled with restrictions, and urged people to comply for the greater good of the nation.
He said: “This is a really serious threat at the moment. How big a threat? There are several things we don’t know. But all the things that we do know are bad and the principal one being the speed at which this is moving, it is moving at an absolutely phenomenal pace.”
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