Boris Johnson is expected to announce new coronavirus restrictions as the Omicron variant continues to spread across the UK.
The government initially introduced international travel restrictions and brought back the use of face masks indoors to help stem the spread of the new variant, however, as infections increase, Johnson and senior ministers are expected to agree the introduction of tighter ‘plan B’.
The officials will discuss the measures in a meeting today, December 8, with a press conference expected to take place later in the day to share the details with the public.
The ‘plan B’ guidance involves asking members of the public to work from home if possible, as well as the introduction of coronavirus vaccine passes for crowded venues such as nightclubs, though Downing Street sources cited by The Independent have noted that ‘no decisions have been made’ on plan B ahead of the meeting.
Restrictions introduced by the plan are intended to prevent the NHS from becoming overwhelmed, though some members of the public and Westminster insiders have noted that the news comes at a seemingly convenient time, coinciding with allegations that a Christmas party took place at Downing Street when the country was on lockdown last year.
LBC correspondent Rachael Venables commented, ‘Goes without saying that this is why the Christmas party story – and it’s timing – really matters. How can you sell more restrictions to a public that don’t believe you are following them?’
Another telling tweet reads, ‘I wonder what has been in the news to prompt him to use such a big distraction.’
The ‘plan B’ meeting is thought to be taking place after Johnson and his cabinet ministers received an assessment about the current coronavirus situation from England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, and chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, yesterday.
Though many social media users have made clear they disagree with the possibility of new restrictions, senior government sources told Sky News that the PM is worried that he must act now, or regret not taking tougher action in a few weeks’ time.
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