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Covid LIVE: Warning over ‘annual winter lockdowns’ – UK in ‘deep, deep trouble’

Covid-19: Ministers reportedly resisting calls for extra measures

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Professor Carl Heneghan, director of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University, also argued it was time to “treat people like adults” and let them moderate their own behaviour instead of imposing strict lockdowns on them. Amid the rapid spread of the Omicron variant across the UK, he said: “This time last year, there were over 2,000 people being admitted. So we’re in a very different place with the presence of vaccines, the presence of the boosters, antivirals on board, and you have to reflect on that information. “We’re in deep, deep trouble here of potentially talking ourselves into annual winter lockdown. Because what happens is this is as good as it gets.” “People will moderate their behaviour accordingly. That’s what we need to trust people to do going forward because that’s the only sustainable policy.”

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New Zealand postpones reopening

New Zealand has postponed the staged reopening of its borders until the end of February, amid concerns over the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. 

After being shut for almost two years, New Zealand was set to loosen some travel restrictions from January, with foreign tourists allowed in from April. 

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins told a press conference in Wellington: “All of the evidence so far points to Omicron being the most transmissible COVID-19 variant yet.

“There’s no doubt this is disappointing and will upset many holiday plans, but it’s important to set these changes out clearly today so they can have time to consider those plans.”

Good morning

Good morning, I’m Olivia Stringer and I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on Coronavirus, for the next eight hours. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.

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