Covid review: When Boris Johnson could change Covid rules

Boris Johnson says he ‘won’t hesitate’ on more restrictions

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As we edge closer to the Christmas holidays concerns are growing that the Government may need to act sooner rather than later with regards to implementing more Covid rules. On Monday, the UK reported a further 91,743 cases of the virus and has seen the record for this measure broken several times in the last week. As pressure grows on Boris Johnson when could he introduce stricter measures for the UK?

On Monday, Mr Johnson held a two-hour-long cabinet meeting to discuss the UK’s ever evolving Covid situation.

Here, ministers concluded that no further action would be taken at this point to combat the spread of the virus and in particular the Omicron variant.

However, the Prime Minister warned that the Government “will rule nothing out” when asked about the possibility of more restrictions in the future.

Speaking after the conclusion of the meeting Mr Johnson said: “Unfortunately I must say to people that we will have to reserve the possibility of taking further action to protect the public, to protect public health, to protect our NHS, and we won’t hesitate to take that action.”

When could Mr Johnson change the rules?

Mr Johnson revealed that ministers were “looking at all kinds of things” and reviewing data “hour by hour”.

Nonetheless, he stopped short of giving an answer as to whether new rules could be brought in before or after Christmas this Saturday.

The PM added that there were still “some things that we need to be clearer about before we decide to go further”.

Mr Johnson though is facing increased scrutiny to introduce measures that extend beyond his Plan B restrictions.

Leaked notes from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) suggest that hospital admissions could reach 3,000 a day, if no further action is taken in England.

Consequently, Mr Johnson is reported to be considering a number of new rules, including advice to refrain from household mixing over the festive period.

Social distancing and curfews for hospitality venues are also under consideration by No 10.

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In fact, over the weekend reports emerged that the Government was weighing up the option of a two-week circuit breaker that would come into effect after Christmas.

Should Mr Johnson look to strengthen the current Covid regulations he will face opposition from his own party.

Last week, 100 Tory MPs voted against one of the PM’s latest Covid rules, and the implementation of Plan B led to Lord David Frost resigning as Brexit Minister.

Lord Frost later said that he stepped down as he could not support the decisions made by the Government in relation to the pandemic.

Government ministers have also refused to comment on whether further restrictions could be introduced in the coming weeks.

Dominic Raab, the Deputy Prime Minister said on Monday that he “can’t make hard, fast guarantees”.

He told Sky News’ Kay Burley that: “I think we will have a much better Christmas than last year because of the vaccination level – both the overall vaccination level and particularly the impact of the booster campaign.

“But I do think, again subject to the data – and it’s always under review – that we’re in a better position to enjoy Christmas with loved ones this year.”

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