Covid-19: Will there be a press conference today, when to expect a Christmas update and will there be another lockdown?

WITH many reports suggesting a circuit breaker lockdown is on its way, could restrictions be reintroduced before Christmas?

Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 3:41 pm

Boris Johnson called an emergency Cabinet meeting yesterday after leading scientists urged the government to bring in tougher Covid restrictions.

The prime minister is under pressure to make a decision on restrictions due to the rise of Omicron cases in the UK.

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Will a Covid press conference take place tonight?

Many insiders have claimed that the government has been discussing a return of step two restrictions, which could see hospitality closed indoors and a limit on socialising in big groups.

Here is everything we know so far:

Will there be a Covid press conference today?

A Covid press conference is not scheduled for today, however, this could change at short notice.

Due to this, speculation has grown that the prime minister is unlikely to bring in further Covid restrictions before Christmas.

It takes 48 hours to recall parliament, carry out a vote and implement new restrictions and if this were to happen, many will have already travelled home for Christmas.

When to expect a Christmas update

Although a Christmas update is not planned, according to The Times, Mr. Johnson is favouring a two-week circuit breaker on December 28.

This news comes after deputy prime minister Dominic Raab stated that the UK is in a better position than last Christmas when festive bubbles were scrapped at short notice.

He told Sky News: ‘We are in a much different place, we are in a much stronger place because of the resilience of our communities because of the high take up of the vaccine. That gives us an extra layer of resilience.’

England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty has urged caution over socialising this Christmas, with people advised to prioritise events that mean the most this festive season.

Will there be another lockdown?

Due to the virus spreading rapidly and hospital admissions rising, a full lockdown has not been written off by the government.

Ministers are still considering further action after Christmas Day which could lead to a circuit breaker instead of a full lockdown.

A circuit breaker could mean tougher restrictions such as not mixing households and a ban on indoor gatherings.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has refused to rule out tougher restrictions.

He told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: ‘We are assessing the situation, it’s very fast-moving. We’ve seen with Omicron there’s a lot that we still don’t know.

‘That’s the truth of the matter. The reality is there’s a lot of uncertainty.’

A few restrictions were reintroduced in England earlier this month including mandatory face masks in shops and proof of vaccination or a negative lateral flow test in indoor spaces where large crowds gather.

Omicron has now surpassed more than 5,000 cases in the UK but the government has stated that the newly introduced measures are temporary and for precaution purposes, with a review scheduled for early January.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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