Brits ‘will get Christmas this year as no more lockdowns on cards'

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Families across the UK will be able to celebrate Christmas with their loved ones this year, the health secretary has predicted.

Millions living in London and the south-east were heartbroken in 2020 as a last-minute Government U-turn saw them only able to mark the occasion with their own household.

The festive season was significantly quieter for others across England as they were only allowed to bring together three households.

But this year will hopefully be back to normal as Sajid Javid says he isn’t expecting any more lockdowns.

When asked on Sunday if the British public will ‘get Christmas’ this year, Mr Javid smiled and said ‘of course’.

He told the BBC: ‘I’m not anticipating any more lockdowns. I think it would be irresponsible for any health minister around the world to take everything off the table, but I just don’t see how we get another lockdown.’

The minister, who replaced disgraced Matt Hancock in June, added that this winter will be different as the UK has raised defences against coronavirus.

It comes as lockdown powers are due to be scrapped ahead of the colder weather.

Boris Johnson will reveal his plan for dealing with Covid in winter in a major press conference next week.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show this morning, Mr Javid said he was ‘hopeful’ for a better winter’ – but ‘we need to prepare’.

He said: ‘Covid and other viruses, they like the autumn and they like the winter.

‘That’s why later this week the prime minister will be setting out our plans to manage Covid and other health threats during the winter.

‘What we’ll make clear is our first line of defence remains the vaccine programme which has been enormously successful – over 80% of over-16s have had their double jabs, far more have had at least one jab.

‘That remains vital, we still want people to come forward, so if there are any listeners who still haven’t had their jab, please do come forward. 

‘Those jabs are working – but alongside that, we’ve got testing infrastructure, this huge juggernaut of a machine providing tests up and down the country.

‘We’ve got new treatments that we didn’t have last winter and we’ve got a surveillance system that’s the envy of the world, so all of this is working together to protect us.’

The Government was recently forced to deny it was planning a firebreak lockdown in October as a report claimed restrictions could return just months after ‘Freedom Day’.

However, a spokesperson said ministers ‘retain contingency plans as part of responsible planning for a range of scenarios’.

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