Everyone across England is nervously awaiting Boris Johnson’s Covid announcements, particularly those with New Year’s Eve plans.
The Prime Minister has been briefed by government scientists this morning on the most up to date Covid data after a two-day Christmas break on data publications.
Although Scotland, Wales and Ireland have announced tougher restrictions, including table service and nightclub closures, Mr Johsnon is not expected to announce further restrictions in England.
READ MORE: London Covid: The 4 options Boris Johnson could bring in after crisis talks today over Omicron
In the internal Government meeting, led by chief medical officer for England Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser, the impact of the Omnicrom variant over Christmas on Covid infections and hospital pressures was outlined.
No announcements are expected to come out of the meeting, PA News reports.
Conservative MPs have urged Mr Johnson to not take restrictions further than they currently already are in England, with Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown calling for a “wait-and-see” approach.
Sir Geoffrey said he hoped the Prime Minister would be “very cautious before introducing further measures” as he pushed for people to be able to “make their own decisions” when it came to taking precautions against infection.
England is currently in Plan B, with work from home encouraged where possible, mask wearing in shops and other public settings, and Covid passes to gain entry to large events.
Sir Geoffrey said: “I think they have been overly cautious, I think they are doing more damage to their economies than they need to, I think they are doing more damage to people’s liberties than they need to.
“I just don’t think the evidence, unless the data coming out today looks very different, is there for any further measures.”
Adam Finn, a professor of paediatrics, said the number of staff absences due to Covid infections was likely to play a part in the Government’s thinking on whether to go further than Plan B.
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“Clearly there are still large numbers of new cases being detected,” he told PA.
“I assume that hospital bed occupancy and staff absences due to isolation rules will be the critical factors on the public health side of any decision.”
Mr Johnson has yet to announce any further rules for England but has indicated he will not hesitate to act after Christmas if required amid rising cases of the Omicron variant.
The Government, according to reports, may choose to issue new voluntary guidance on limiting contacts rather than risk another damaging Tory rebellion by recalling Parliament to impose new rules beyond the existing Plan B measures.
The Times reported that, even if more measures are imposed, plans are being drawn up so that weddings and funerals – deemed “significant life events” – would be exempt from any new rules and disruption.
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