We’re not out of the woods yet. According to MailOnline, tonight may be our last night of freedom for some time as the usual doom-mongers warn Boris he must impose new restrictions.
Johnson is expected to make a decision in the first week of the New Year on whether to restrict mixing indoors in England…
The Prime Minister opted not to impose new curbs between Christmas and New Year’s Eve but rising Covid case numbers are fuelling fears that new measures could be on the horizon.
A further 189,213 coronavirus cases were recorded across the UK yesterday – a new record high – while the number of hospital patients with Covid in England rose to 11,452, a rise of 61% in just one week.
Johnson said in his New Year’s Eve message that the nation’s position in the battle against the disease is now “incomparably better than last year” thanks to the vaccine rollout.
It came as NHS bosses warned that the Government “needs to be ready to introduce tighter restrictions at real speed should they be needed”.
Chris Hopson, the head of NHS Providers, said new curbs “may be needed at pace if the evidence warrants it” as he said health bosses “still don’t know” if there will be a surge in elderly hospitalisations which could trigger Mr Johnson to act.
Meanwhile, a Government scientific adviser today warned it is likely the NHS will be overwhelmed by the spread of the Omicron variant.
Professor Peter Openshaw, who sits on the Government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), said: “I think we haven’t quite reached the threshold that was set by Government in terms of the NHS being overwhelmed, but it looks like that will be reached quite quickly.”
Worth reading in full.
Stop Press: The Spectator has published a handy guide for Scots hoping to celebrate New Year’s Eve in border towns.