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Government Will ‘Look At Data Available’ On Monday For Further Covid Restrictions Decision

Emily Brown

| Last updated 

Government Will ‘Look At Data Available’ On Monday For Further Covid Restrictions DecisionAlamy

A senior government adviser has said the government will ‘look at all the data we have available’ on Monday before making any decisions about post-Christmas restrictions. 

Dr Jenny Harries, the head of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), discussed the possibility of further restrictions on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, December 24.


Harries explained that any changes regarding rules that may come next week will not only be based on ‘what the epidemiology is saying’, but also on how it is ‘impacting society’.

Face masks reintroduced (Alamy)Alamy

Per Sky News, she continued: ‘So for example, we have very high rates of individuals off sick – we know that particularly in London, around one in 35 have currently got Omicron. Now that’s having an impact on the workforce. So these are not simply about hospitalisation rates.’

Harries’ comments come after figures revealed more than 1.4 million people had coronavirus in the week ending December 16, equating to one in every 45 people in England.


The adviser acknowledged there is UKHSA data on the reduced chance of hospitalisation from the Omicron variant of coronavirus and noted there are currently no ‘significant rises’ in intensive care or ventilation beds for COVID-19 patients.

Positive COVID test (Alamy)Alamy

However, while this could offer a potential ‘glimmer of Christmas hope’, Harries warned it ‘definitely isn’t yet at the point where we could downgrade that serious threat’, and stressed ‘a lot of the people who’ve been infected to date are younger people’.

She continued:


What we have got now is a really fine balance between something that looks like a lower risk of hospitalisation – which is great news – but equally a highly transmissible variant and one that we know evades some of our immune defences, so it is a very balanced position.

Though there may be more measures brought in place after Christmas, Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed on Thursday there would be no announcements on restrictions in England until December 27.

If you’ve been affected by coronavirus and want up to date advice, visit the help page here. If you need medical help call NHS 111 or visit online

Topics: News, Christmas, Coronavirus, lockdown, Now, Restrictions


Sky News
  1. Sky News

    COVID-19: Govt will 'look at data available' on Monday to make post-Christmas restrictions decision - UKHSA boss

Emily Brown
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