Omicron latest: Boris Johnson confirms no new Covid restrictions will be introduced before Christmas Day
The Prime Minister has confirmed in a statement that no new Covid restrictions will be introduced ahead of Christmas Day amid speculation of a festive lockdown
The Prime Minister told the nation, in a statement released on 21 December, that the UK Government will not be asking those in England to comply with any further rules ahead of the festive celebrations, but did warn that more restrictions may come after 25 December.
At a glance: 5 key points
- Boris Johnson has confirmed that no further Covid restrictions will be introduced in England ahead of Christmas Day
- The Prime Minister said that “continuing uncertainty” over the impact of the Omicron strain has led ministers to believe that there is not yet enough evidence to justify the introduction of more Covid rules
- However, he warned that the situation remains “finely balanced” and that he would not be able to “rule out further measures after Christmas”
- It comes after speculation that the UK Government were poised to introduce a ‘step two’-style plan in the days after Christmas Day
- Although Christmas plans have been given the go-ahead, Mr Johnson urged people to gather safely for festive celebrations and reiterated his plea for all eligible adults to get boosted
What did Boris Johnson say about Christmas?
The Prime Minister spoke in a video message released on social media about the decision to not introduce any new measures ahead of Christmas.
In the video, he explained the reason for not introducing new restrictions ahead of Christmas, adding that ministers didn’t believe that the data supported any stricter measures than those currently in place.
Mr Johnson said: “There is no doubt that Omicron continues to surge with a speed unlike anything we’ve seen before.
“The situation remains extremely difficult but I also recognise that people have been waiting to hear whether their Christmas plans are going to be affected.
“So what I can say tonight is that naturally we can’t rule out any further measures after Christmas – and we’re going to keep a constant eye on the data, and we’ll do whatever it takes to protect public health.
“But in view of the continuing uncertainty about several things – the severity of Omicron, uncertainty about the hospitalisation rate or the impact of the vaccine rollout or the boosters, we don’t think today that there is enough evidence to justify any tougher measures before Christmas.”
He also added that the situation would be would be “monitored closely”, with the government willing to “take action if needed” if the Omicron situation deteriorates.
Mr Johnson Said: “We continue to monitor Omicron very closely and if the situation deteriorates we will be ready to take action if needed.
“What this means is that people can go ahead with their Christmas plans but the situation remains finely balanced and I would urge everyone to exercise caution, to keep protecting yourselves and your loved ones, especially the vulnerable.
“And remember to keep following the guidance – wear a mask indoors when required to do so, keep fresh air circulating, and take a test before you visit elderly or vulnerable relatives.”
What did Boris Johnson say about Covid booster jabs?
The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to reiterate his plea for all eligible adult to get boosted over the winter period.
He said: “If you have not done so already, then please drop everything, find a walk-in or go online and make an appointment and get boosted now.”
As of 21 December, 29,876,223 booster and third shots have been administered in the UK.
This marks a day-on-day rise of 897,979 - the second highest daily figure on record.
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