The Health Secretary has said additional Covid restrictions are unlikely this year. Let’s hope that’s not wishful thinking on his part. MailOnline has more.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Mr Javid insisted any fresh curbs on freedoms must be ‘an absolute last resort’, adding that the country is in ‘a far stronger position’ at the start of 2022 than it was 12 months ago.
Although Scotland and Wales had strict Covid rules, people living in other home nations flocked across the border for a chance to enjoy the New Year in style and in their best outfits.
In London thousands of people lined the banks of the River Thames to watch the capital’s fireworks and drone display, while Piccadilly Circus was packed despite calls for caution around social distancing.
Thousands of revellers of all ages gathered in nightclubs, bars and pubs in Leeds as they brought the New Year in with huge smiles.
And in one Manchester nightclub, some 10,000 people partied until 4am, although there were some skirmishes in Newcastle, with one man being led away by police.
Meanwhile, after being forced to close under last year’s lockdown restrictions, many bars and clubs in Liverpool were pictured crammed with thousands of partygoers yesterday evening.
The wild celebrations came as Sajid Javid vowed today to do everything in his power to avoid a lockdown this year.
There were heightened fears about the spread of the virus as U.K. had another daily record of 189,846 cases yesterday and 203 deaths.
The Office for National Statistics reported an estimated 2.3million people in the UK had Covid in the week ending December 23rd, setting another pandemic record.
Downing Street sources indicated that the Government’s work from home guidance is likely to be extended when it comes up for review next week because infections and hospitalisations are continuing to rise across the country.
While coronavirus cases are continuing to rise due to the fast-spreading Omicron variant, official figures showed yesterday that in parts of Britain up to four in 10 hospital patients with Covid were actually there to receive treatment for something else. The figure nationally is one in three.
Mr Javid said the numbers in intensive care units remained stable, meaning “we have welcomed in 2022 with some of the least restrictive measures in Europe”.
Mr Javid added: “Curbs on our freedom must be an absolute last resort and the British people rightly expect us to do everything in our power to avert them.”
You can read Sajid Javid’s piece here.