Europe

Covid Plan C to range from ‘mild guidance’ to draconian ‘lockdown’ amid Omicron fears

Speaker Lindsay Hoyle sends warning to Boris Johnson

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The options were reportedly put forward to Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday amid a rise in the Covid cases in the country. A total of 93,045 people have been tested positive for the Covid infection in the last 24 hours, an increase of 60 percent from the 58,194 cases reported last week.

The current Plan B rules for England include Covid passes for certain events, face masks in more places, and people being urged to work from home if they can.

According to The Times, those Government officials who are aware of the plans suggested that they ranged from “mild guidance to nudge people, right through to lockdown”.

A Government official told The Times: “It’s 50:50 at the moment on whether the approach we take will be the Scottish guidance one vs stronger new measures that require the recall of parliament”.

The Scottish government led by Nicola Sturgeon had requested to limit socialising to three households.

Allies of Johnson told the publication that Johnson wants to continue with the “guidance” approach rather than imposing tougher restrictions.

One of them told The Times: “Boris is petrified of disrupting two Christmases in a row, but he also has to be realistic about the threat we face.”

An official from the Government said that an emergency meeting of ministers will be held on Saturday to assess the latest Omicron data, which one government insider described as “pretty bleak”.

Another source described the threat of the variant as “potentially pretty terrifying”, according to The Times.

Another senior government official said there was growing concern over hospital pressures in London, the epicenter of Omicron in the UK.

The source told The Times: “It’s been another record day of cases . . . and we’re monitoring London hospitalisation data closely.”

On the other hand, 861,306 booster shots were administered across the UK, marking a record day for the rollout.

It means half of all UK adults had now received a booster jab, the Prime Minister said.

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He later tweeted that a meeting of the Government’s emergency committee Cobra will be held over the weekend with representatives from the devolved administrations.

Meanwhile, a study conducted by the Imperial College of London has warned that there was “no evidence” that Omicron was milder than the Delta variant, as the daily number of Covid cases in Britain crossed 93,000, the highest British figure for the third consecutive day.

The study further found that Covid booster shots could provide about 85 percent protection against severe illness from Omicron, and more than 90 percent protection against death, 60 days after being administered.

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