Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly now considering ‘three options’ in a bid to halt the spread of the new Omicron variant.
Officials have presented the PM with three different options for further restrictions.
These options are understood to be of varying degrees of toughness, with the lowest level involving asking members of the public to limit indoor contact with others. Under this guidance, measures wouldn’t be legally enforced.
Johnson is reportedly said to be considering the second option, which would involve mandated curbs on households mixing and the reintroduction of social distancing, as well as an 8pm curfew for pubs and restaurants.
Option three would be the strictest, and would see the announcement of a full ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown. Ministers are also understood to be discussing the possibility of implementing restrictions from Boxing Day onwards, which would mean the closing of pubs and restaurants.
The enforcement of any new legal restrictions requires the recall of MPs to Parliament for a vote, which The Telegraph reports could happen as soon as Wednesday, December 22.
This report comes after Health Secretary Sajid Javid refused to rule out the possibility of further COVID restrictions before Christmas, following ‘sobering’ new warnings from SAGE.
According to its modelling of the pandemic, SAGE predicts that unless the government introduces intervention that goes further than the current ‘Plan B’ restrictions, the hospital admissions rate in England will reach a peak of at least 3,000 people each day.
Experts have warned against waiting until 2022 before introducing tougher measures, with SAGE suggesting that restrictions ‘similar in scale to the national lockdown’ would be required to keep hospital admissions low.
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Topics: News, Boris Johnson, Coronavirus, COVID, Now, Omicron