Coronavirus: Portsmouth area MPs welcome winter plan announced by prime minister Boris Johnson
POLITICIANS have backed the prime minister's winter plan saying it will 'steer us safely' through the coming months.
Boris Johnson' s five-pillar plan is designed to extend vaccinations while maintaining free Covid testing.
Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt welcomed the announcement to tackle the 'serious challenges' for the NHS - including flu variants and the elective treatment backlog.
She said: ‘Thanks to the vaccine programme we are in good shape in fighting Covid as we go into the winter.
‘However, we face serious challenges with flu variants and of course the backlog of NHS treatment.
‘That is why it is right to give additional funds to the NHS and we all continue to do our bit to protect each other.
‘Please get vaccinated and go for your boosters when they are offered.
‘This winter let’s keep getting our economy back on track and continue to look out for each other.’
The five pillars of the plan are: extending vaccines to children 12-15 and starting a booster programme.
The plan will also ensure PCR testing is free for symptomatic people and their close contacts. Lateral flow tests will remain free - for the time being.
Members of the public are being asked to wear masks in indoor spaces, in the fourth pillar of the plan.
And a new framework on international travel will be unveiled.
Havant MP Alan Mak said: ‘Booster jabs for the elderly and most vulnerable, more money for the NHS and a focus on test and trace will help protect people across the country.
'The mass vaccination programme has already protected millions from coronavirus, including in our area, so we have to keep up our efforts as we approach winter.’
Caroline Dinenage, Gosport MP, added: ‘If the last 20 months has taught us anything it’s that we need to have in place strong protections and contingency plans a s we approach the winter.
‘The plan set out (on Tuesday) is comprehensive and designed to steer us safely through the months ahead.’
During last night’s Downing Street press conference England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said anti-vaxxers who ‘peddle untruths’ about the safety of the Covid-19 jab ‘should be ashamed’.