Politics

Covid plan B warning: Boris ‘ready’ to implement new lockdown rules as UK cases skyrocket

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The Prime Minister has already made the necessary preparations to impose extra coronavirus restrictions.

Should cases and hospitalisations surge to a level deemed unsustainable by ministers, officials said action could be taken immediately.

Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said: “One of the reasons we set out our autumn planning, including our plan B and including Covid certification, was so that we are able to act swiftly if required.

“I again emphasise we do not see anything in the statistics to suggest we currently need to implement it.

“As a responsible Government we are making sure we are ready to act should it become necessary.”

The remarks from the No10 official come after the UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, warned the Government must be “absolutely prepared” to trigger extra measures.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the Government would need to be ready to “move fast” if required.

The Government adviser said the UK was still in a “very uncertain phase” of the pandemic.

“There is considerable uncertainty into which direction this goes,” he said.

Cases, hospitalisation and deaths have been increasing in recent weeks.

New daily infections appeared to peak on October 22 when 52,009 cases confirmed by a positive test were reported.

While there has been a slight downward trend over the past 72 hours, scientists are warning case rates remain high.

At the same time there are currently 8,801 Covid patients occupying hospital beds according to the latest data.

In total 140,041 coronavirus deaths have been recorded, including 207 new fatalities yesterday.

Ministers have said they will move to their plan B if the number of hospitalisations risks overwhelming the NHS.

They say that while cases are currently surging, the success of the vaccine rollout means that Britain is not seeing the same surge in hospital admissions as it did earlier in the year.

More to follow…

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