Prime Minister Boris Johnson has refused to rule out the possibility of a Christmas lockdown, with tighter restrictions potentially coming into force before Christmas Day.
It’s now been reported that officials have prepared plans to restrict customer numbers in pubs and restaurants in the weeks to come, with establishments potentially even being closed down altogether.
This comes amid fears that new variant Omicron will peak in January, with 1,576 cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 reported across the UK yesterday. This takes the total number of cases up to 4,713.
During a press conference held this week, Johnson was asked whether or not he could rule out further restrictions before Christmas, to which he replied:
Well, let me just say on that, that throughout the pandemic I’ve been at great pains to stress to the public that we have to watch where the pandemic is going and we take whatever steps are necessary to protect public health.
We think that the steps that we’re taking, so Plan B combined with a huge, hugely ambitious acceleration of the booster campaign, bringing it forward by a month so we offer a booster to every adult by the end of the year. We think that’s the right approach. And I think the most important thing everybody can do is get boosted now.
Regarding what we can expect from Christmas this year, a government source told The Sun, ‘You will be able to see your family at Christmas, but at this rate, you might not be able to do it in a pub. As for New Year’s Eve, that is a different story.’
Meanwhile, while speaking about the already announced Plan B restrictions, one Conservative MP told The Guardian:
These restrictions are the gateway drug to more serious restrictions down the line. I think we’ll be on plan X, Y or Z by Christmas.
Wales Online reports that new rules could be made law as late on as December 21, with restrictions including anything from mandatory face coverings and table service in pubs to shutting pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops altogether and telling members of the public to remain indoors.
It’s expected that a vote held to pass Plan B into law today will be split, with BBC News reporting that approximately 70 Conservative MPs have stated that they will vote against introducing Covid passes for entry into venues such as nightclubs.
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Topics: News, Boris Johnson, Christmas, lockdown, Now, Omicron, Restrictions
CreditsThe Sun and 3 others
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