Politics

Boris Johnson set to hold crunch talks tomorrow as he considers tough Covid measures


The PM may consider encouraging Brits to voluntarily reduce their social contacts instead of rolling out mandatory measures

Boris Johnson is set to hold crunch talks tomorrow as he considers whether to introduce fresh Covid restrictions or a lockdown.

The Prime Minister will meet with Cabinet ministers to discuss the latest Covid data and could start to decide what measures he will roll out and when.

Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance are expected to attend the meeting which will be held virtually.

It is the first time Ministers will meet to discuss the latest on Omicron since the PM decided not to roll out fresh restrictions before Christmas.

The meeting on December 27 will hold more weight as the PM has been accused of dithering, and being “paralysed” over whether to introduce a post-Christmas lockdown.

At the last Cabinet meeting, held last Monday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps spoke out against strict Covid measures.







Chancellor Rishi Sunak is said to be against tough lockdown measures
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Tayfun Salci/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock)

But Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove is said to be backing tough measures.

Mr Johnson has a number of restrictions that he could roll out, but he is said to be considering a circuit breaker lockdown, more guidance on social distancing and reduced social contacts

The PM could rely on encouraging Brits to reduce their social contacts with guidance, instead of making things mandatory with law.

Last week, Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies warned Omicron would have to be about 90% less severe than Delta for hospital admissions not to reach the previous peak – “unless the wave peaks early for other reasons, which should not be assumed for planning purposes”.







Professor Chris Whitty will be attending the meeting on the latest Covid data
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POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

SAGE added: “The earlier interventions happen the greater the effect they will have.”

And hinting towards a circuit breaker lockdown the experts said: “Even a short intervention could reduce both peak and total admissions, particularly if introduced early enough.”

But just ahead of Christmas, early analysis for the Government found a person with Omicron Covid is “50 to 70% less likely to be admitted to hospital” than a person with the Delta strain.

Someone with the Omicron variant is also 31% to 45% less likely to attend A&E compared to Delta, the UK Health Security Agency said.

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