Duncan Smith blasts Boris’ winter Covid ‘tool box’ plan – ‘No turning back now!’

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The Conservative MP and former party leader delivered the stark message amid reports suggesting No10 is considering extending the Coronavirus Act 2020, which provides lockdown powers, for another six months. A “toolbox” of measures, designed to avoid another winter lockdown, is being prepared.

These are expected to include vaccine booster shots for the vulnerable, extra flu jabs and vaccine passports for stadiums and clubs.

Speaking to The Sun, Sir Iain said the Government would be “a bunch of tools” to try and impose another lockdown.

He said: “The only ‘toolbox’ we need is a crystal clear commitment never to shut down this country again.

“Boris promised we are on a road out and there can be no turning back.

“Unless the toolbox means no lockdowns ever again, frankly the Government will be a box of tools.”

The Sun reports Boris Johnson has privately ruled out another lockdown, and believes Britain needs to “learn to live with Covid forever”.

A source close to the Prime Minister added: “The strength of our vaccination programme has changed how we tackle and live with this virus. It’s going to be different this year.

“We will have the booster programme to give the most vulnerable an extra shot of protection and the highest number of people yet will be offered a flu jab.”

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said he expects the most vulnerable to start receiving top-up Covid shots by the end of this month.

He is awaiting final advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

On Thursday, Mr Javid said: “We are heading towards our booster programme, so the news from the MHRA today is welcome.

“But also I want to wait for the final opinion of the JCVI.


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“I’m confident our booster programme will start later this month but I’m still awaiting the final advice.”

Britain has seen a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalisations over the past few weeks.

Currently, 8,085 are receiving hospital treatment for COVID-19, the highest figure since March.

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From October 1, a coronavirus vaccine certificate will be required to enter nightclubs, some football grounds and music festivals in Scotland.

Customer’s vaccination status will be checked by staff via a “verifier app”.

The Scottish Conservatives have announced their opposition to the move.

Leon Thompson, executive director of UKHospitality Scotland, branded the plan “extremely disappointing”.

She said: “The Scottish Government has not listened and now our businesses face just three weeks in which to prepare for a policy that will put further economic and resourcing pressures on them.

“The Scottish Government has not consulted with hospitality, it has not produced any credible plans for the introduction of passports and it has not even defined what a nightclub is.”
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