Covid: Christmas will be lockdown-free despite high UK case numbers, Boris Johnson says

The Prime Minister also urged over 50s to get the booster jab

There is no evidence to indicate that a Christmas lockdown is “on the cards” with the government sticking to its current plan to tackle coronavirus, Boris Johnson said.

Despite high daily case numbers, the Prime Minister said there is no reason to activate Plan B.

At a glance: 5 key points

  • Asked if he could guarantee a good Christmas, he did not answer directly, saying: “I see no evidence whatsoever to think that any kind of lockdown is on the cards.”
  • His comments follow calls by the NHS Confederation and the British Medical Association, as well as a number of prominent scientists, for the Government to take steps to ease the growing pressures on the health service.
  • Coronavirus infection levels have risen across the UK, with the most recent estimates from the Office for National Statistics showing the same proportion of people in England have Covid-19 as at the peak of the second wave.
  • Despite the prevalence of the virus across the four nations, hospital admissions and deaths remain well below levels seen during the second wave in January, with the vaccine rollout credited as being the reason why.
  • Moving to Plan B for England would mean the return to working at home advice and the mandatory wearing of face masks, as well as the introduction of so-called vaccine passports.

What’s been said

The Prime Minister said that while the Government was closely monitoring the situation, there was no need to act at this stage.

“We’re watching the numbers every day. Yes it’s true that cases are high. But they do not currently constitute any reason to go to Plan B,” he said.

Mr Johnson repeated his call for the over 50s to get the booster jab amid concern the protection provided by the vaccines is waning, particularly among older age groups.

“I think rather than thinking new restrictions, the best thing everybody can do is get that booster jab as soon as you’re offered it,” he said.

“It’s a very important message. I think people don’t quite realise that the first two jabs do start to wane.

“How sad, how tragic it would be if people who had other complications other compromises in their health got seriously ill because they were overconfident about their level of immunity and didn’t get their booster when they needed it

“So please please please can everybody get their boosters.”


His comments come as health teams are preparing to visit more than 800 schools across the country this week to offer children aged 12-15 a coronavirus vaccine.

NHS England said more than 600,000 young people have been vaccinated since the jabs rollout was extended at the end of September to include that age group.

Pupils returning after the October half-term break are also being advised to take a coronavirus test to try and minimise disruption to lessons and to ensure families can “enjoy the best” of the festive season.

The latest figures showed that a further 166 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Saturday, bringing the UK total to 140,558.

There were a further 41,278 cases in the UK, the Government said.

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