Omicron: PM warns of ‘further action’ on Covid restrictions as situation is reviewed ‘hour-by-hour’

Boris Johnson confirmed that the government are revering the “possibility of taking further action” as Covid-19 cases surge across the country.  (Credit: Getty)Boris Johnson confirmed that the government are revering the “possibility of taking further action” as Covid-19 cases surge across the country.  (Credit: Getty)
Boris Johnson confirmed that the government are revering the “possibility of taking further action” as Covid-19 cases surge across the country. (Credit: Getty) | Getty Images

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The Prime Minister said that the government is following the situation hour-by-hour and will “reserve the possibility of taking further action”

Boris Johnson has confirmed that the UK Government are considering taking ‘further action’ on the Omicron and Covid crisis currently gripping the nation, following a cabinet meeting.

The Prime Minister made the admission in an interview following a cabinet meeting in which minister discussed the best way to control rapidly rising Covid-19 cases.

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Mr Johnson said that no new restrictions would be “immediately implemented” however, he added that the situation was being tracked “hour-by-hour” adding: “We won’t hesitate to take action.”

At a glance: 5 key points

  • Boris Johnson has confirmed that the government is closely following the Covid crisis and has warned that new restrictions could be introduced to curb the rising cases
  • The Prime Minister spoke after a special two-hour long cabinet meeting in which ministers discussed the current Covid crisis, which has seen the UK break records for the highest daily cases since the pandemic began
  • Mr Johnson confirmed that the government will not be “immediately implementing” any new rules, but warned that the government will “reserve the possibility of taking further action” if it is supported by data
  • It comes after scientists from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) wrote to the Prime Minister to advise that more restrictions, such as the closure of businesses and a two-week ban on household mixing, be implemented to curb the surge in cases
  • The Prime Minister went against this advice and has decided to not implement new rules ahead of Christmas, however has said that “we will rule nothing out”

What did Boris Johnson say?

The Prime Minister spoke following a two-hour cabinet meeting amid speculation that new restrictions would be introduced ahead of Christmas Day.

Mr Johnson confirmed that no new restrictions would be introduced at this point despite fears that a ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown could be announced.

However, he warned that the UK Government “will rule nothing out” in the coming days, with ministers keeping a close eye on the situation.

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He said: “We are looking at all kinds of things to keep Omicron under control and we will rule nothing out.

“Unfortunately I must say to people that we will have to reserve the possibility of taking further action to protect the public, to protect public health, to protect our NHS.

“We won’t hesitate to take action.”

Mr Johnson also said that the UK public have responded to the Omicron crisis by keeping themselves safe in their own way, adding: “I understand how tough it must be and nobody wanted things to go this way.

“Omicron has simply exploded so fast that we have seen people naturally deciding to make sure that they protect themselves and they avoid spreading the disease. As I said, the benefits of that course of action we may see in the next few days and weeks in the way we are able to contain the disease.

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“But at the moment what I think we want people to focus on is exercising caution so ventilation, masks in the appropriate places, all the usual stuff about washing hands, but remember how contagious Omicron really is.

“I think what you’re seeing already is the British public understanding that and you can see in people’s patterns of behaviour since we went to Plan B that they are changing the way they go about their lives, they are changing some of the assumptions they make about the things that they want to do.

What are the current Covid restrictions?

In response to the spread of Omicron in the UK, face masks have been reintroduced in more venues, including public transport. There is no requirement to wear a face mask in hospitality venues, in exercise venues such as gyms or nightclubs.

There has also been the introduction of a Covid Pass to confirm vaccination status in venues such as nightclubs, indoor unseated venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people and any venue with more than 10,000 people.

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Attendees are also able to use a negative lateral flow test to gain entry to these venues.

People are being encouraged to work from home again where possible.

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