Over Christmas, there was a break in the publication of Covid data. Today the Prime Minister will receive the latest statistics and will hear the latest guidance from his scientific advisors, before announcing his final decision on which restrictions (if any) he will reintroduce.
Boris Johnson will receive a full briefing from his scientific advisors today, after a two-day break in the publication of Covid data.
The number of hospital admissions and Covid-related deaths since Christmas Eve will be a key factor in any decision the PM’s makes.
The devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have already reintroduced new Covid measures to curb the spread of Omicron.
Mr Johnson had previously said he “can’t rule out” the reinforcement of new restrictions and the Government would “not hesitate to act” if needed after Christmas.
READ MORE: Boris wants to offer guidance NOT restrictions for New Year parties
However, hospitality venues, such as nightclubs, were exempt.
Proof of double vaccination or a negative Covid test is mandatory in certain settings, such as large indoor events.
Brits are asked to work from home where possible.
Many experts expect the new Omicron wave will peak quickly.
If today’s latest data dump suggests this will be the case, then it’s likely England will stick to Plan B and further measures won’t be introduced.
If the latest statistics show no significant improvement in cases rates, or if hospital admissions remain high, then the PM might consider enforcing some or all of the restrictions under plan C.
As yet a full ‘Plan C’ has not been published by the Government, however, potential rules could be:
The reintroduction of the rule of six
- Pubs and restaurants to introduce two-metre social distancing or to resume table-only service
- ‘Checking in’ to venues via the NHS Test and Trace app
- Covid passports required for smaller venues
- Reintroduction of mandatory 10-day isolation period for contacts of a positive Covid case
But under plan C it would be unlikely schools would close.
A full lockdown or two-week circuit breaker
A fourth full lockdown or even a so-called “circuit breaker” is highly unlikely, but it hasn’t been ruled out completely.
This would only be introduced if the latest statistics are far worse than expected.
Under these plans, Brits would be told to stay at home unless they had to make essential trips, such as doing their weekly food shop.
All hospitality and non-essential retail would be forced to close.
But schools are expected to remain open regardless, as the Government has said they will be the last sector to close.