On Monday, both Boris Johnson and his Health Secretary Sajid Javid said no further restrictions would be introduced before the start of 2022 to curb the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. Mr Johnson has said the UK Government will “continue to monitor the data carefully” while encouraging the population to “act cautiously given the rising number of Omicron cases”. But this is in total contrast to the decisions made by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Welsh counterpart Mark Drakeford for their own countries, with both hit by strict curbs heading into 2022.
This has triggered a furious backlash on social media, with both ministers accused of “wrecking their countries for no reason”.
TalkRADIO presenter Kevin O’Sullivan tweeted: “Sturgeon and Drakeford have been outmanoeuvred by Boris.
“The dim duo’s unjustified Covid crackdowns in Scotland and Wales are as absurd as they are wildly unpopular.
“Wrecking their countries for no reason other than a left wing lust for big state power over individual freedom.”
Conservative MP for Ipswich Tom Hunt wrote: “If the Scottish and Welsh Governments want to introduce new restrictions that cause significant economic harm, that’s their right.
“However they should be prepared to front up to their own electorates and explain how they’re going to pay for it.”
Several other voters have taken to Twitter launch furious attacks against Ms Sturgeon and Mr Drakeford for imposing more Covid restrictions on their respective countries.
David Stoker (@davidstoker_lfc) raged: “Enough @NicolaSturgeon.
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Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) tweeted: “The alarmists got it massively wrong about Omicron.
“Reverse the restrictions and stop the damage now.”
In Scotland, indoor events have been limited to 100 standing or 200 seated, while outdoor events are reduced to 500 seated or standing. This means New Year’s Eve celebrations – including Edinburgh’s hugely popular Hogmanay street party – have been cancelled.
Nightclubs have also been closed for three weeks, while pubs, bars and other settings that serve alcohol have returned to table service only.
The one-metre social distancing rule in all indoor hospitality and leisure settings has also returned.
On Tuesday, the Scottish Government tweeted: “People in Scotland should stay at home as much as possible.
“Limit the number of contacts you have.
“If you meet others, gather in small groups of no more than 3 households.
“Following the rules keeps us all safe.”
In Wales, the ‘Rule of Six’ has been reintroduced for pubs, cinemas and restaurants with licensed premises once again only able to serve customers seated outside, while face masks must be worn and contract tracing details collected.
A maximum people of 30 people at indoor events and 50 people at outdoor events are only allowed, with social distancing of two metres in place and nightclubs closed.
A Welsh Government spokesperson said on Tuesday: “This new variant is very transmissible – it spreads very quickly wherever people come together.
“Please take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones by wearing a face covering, keeping your distance and if you can, reducing the number of people you meet regularly.”