Boris Johnson said today that there is “absolutely nothing to indicate” there will be another lockdown this winter, in spite of mounting pressure from NHS bigwigs and trade union barons. MailOnline has more.
The Prime Minister said a national shutdown is not ‘on the cards’ as he was grilled about rising coronavirus case numbers.
His comments came after Tory MPs and hospitality chiefs urged the PM to resist calls from health bosses to trigger the Government’s COVID-19 ‘Plan B’.
Conservative MPs fear going ahead with the fall back strategy of telling people to work from home and to wear face masks would put the nation on a “slippery slope” towards another lockdown.
They are adamant there should be no return to draconian curbs, claiming that the Government must not be “bullied” by health leaders into imposing new rules.
Meanwhile, hospitality bosses have warned against reimposing restrictions, telling the PM that many pubs, bars and restaurants would “go to the wall”.
The hospitality industry is concerned that even light touch restrictions could hit bookings and put “Christmas at risk”.
The Government has insisted the triggering of ‘Plan B’ is not imminent, with the focus currently on rolling out vaccine booster shots.
But ministers struck an ominous tone this morning as they said the blueprint is “there for a reason”.
Health bosses have called on the Government to introduce ‘Plan B’ measures as they warned the NHS is currently heading for a winter crisis.
Worth reading in full.
Stop Press: SAGE is backing Boris’s decision not to implement ‘Plan B’. The latest modelling from SPI-M concluded that admission rates “are unlikely to get significantly higher than those currently seen” if vaccine protection does not wane much further than has already been observed. The Telegraph‘s Sarah Knapton has more.
A winter Covid wave is likely to be mild compared to last year even without ‘Plan B’ measures, Government scientists said as they warned that restrictions may not work as well as in previous waves.
The latest modelling, released on Friday, suggests that unless there is a rapid increase in transmission rates, coupled with the repeated waning of protection from Covid jabs, hospital admissions will be nowhere near the highs of January.
Worth reading in full.