Doctor says 'drastic measures' are needed to stop Omicron spread
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In recent weeks Boris Johnson has introduced several new measures to help combat the ongoing Covid pandemic. However, as the Omicron variant maintains its spread through communities, and record numbers of daily Covid cases continue to be reported, there are concerns that tighter rules might be needed before we reach the festive season. So, with less than a week to go until Boxing Day will there be another lockdown for the UK?
Currently, the Prime Minister is under increasing pressure to act and stem the spread of the Covid pandemic within the UK.
Leaked notes from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergency (Sage) suggested that, without intervention beyond current Plan B rules in England, hospital admissions could reach 3,000 a day.
Last week, the UK broke its record for the most Covid cases recorded in a single day – 93,045 for December 17.
So, what are the chances of a new lockdown being introduced before Boxing Day?
Although, the Prime Minister is reportedly considering a number of new Covid restrictions for the UK though there is no mention as of yet about another lockdown coming in before Boxing Day.
Advice to refrain from household mixing over the festive period – as has already been introduced in Scotland – is one of the measures Mr Johnson is pondering.
Social distancing could also return as a ruling to help combat the spread of the virus.
While 8pm curfews may be issued for hospitality venues, such as pubs and restaurants.
Over the weekend, reports emerged that the Government is considering a two-week circuit breaker – which would be introduced after Christmas.
Ministers have also refused to comment on whether further restrictions could be introduced in the coming weeks.
Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, the Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, said there were “no guarantees in this pandemic”.
He added that “at this point we just have to keep everything under review”.
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Mr Johnson might be wary of implementing further Covid rules given the set-back he suffered in a House of Commons vote last week.
100 of his own MPs voted against him, last Tuesday, on the ruling to introduce NHS Covid passes for people to gain entry to nightclubs and other large events.
The measure was only able to be approved thanks to the support of Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party.
Many of the MPs who voted against introducing NHS Covid passes had previously expressed concerns that the restriction would undermine public trust.
Yesterday, the UK recorded 82,886 new Covid cases, which takes the total number since the pandemic began to more than 11 million.
Cases relating specifically to the Omicron variant are also continuing to grow quickly.
For Sunday December 19 an additional 12,133 cases were reported – more than 11,000 of which were detected in England. In total Omicron cases for the UK now stand at 37,101.
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