Possible Plans D and E are being discussed by the government should current measures fail to bring the Omicron variant under control, Whitehall insiders have said.
Meanwhile it’s the vote on Plan B tomorrow, Plan C possibly on December 21. – Owl
Clare Busch www.devonlive.com
The Mirror reports the tougher Covid-19 plans being discussed include another lockdown.
MPs have already been told they may have to return to Parliament for a vote on tougher restrictions should Omicron infections hit the expected million mark.
A vote on Tuesday, December 21 could move the current Plan B rules to Plan C, which would require masks in all indoor establishments and the use of Covid app for pubs and restaurants. Vaccine passports could be required for smaller venues.
Plan C would also include a return to table service only and a required self-isolation after contact with someone infectious.
The possible Plan D could mean all pubs and restaurants stopping indoors service with only outdoor service allowed.
A Plan E would see a return to lockdown with all pubs, cafes, restaurants and non-essential retail closed.
Individuals would only be able to leave their home for essential reasons such as work, medical appointments and to buy food.
Schools would be the last to close.
Plan B includes masks for public transport and most indoor settings, vaccine passports for large events and advice to work from home. The plan came into effect today (Monday, December 13) just as Boris Johnson confirmed the first death associated with Omicron in the UK.
The Prime Minister said at a vaccination clinic in west London: “Sadly yes Omicron is producing hospitalisations and sadly at least one patient has been confirmed to have died with Omicron.
“So I think the idea that this is somehow a milder version of the virus, I think that’s something we need to set on one side and just recognise the sheer pace at which it accelerates through the population. So the best thing we can do is all get our boosters.”
Boris Johnson said that Omicron now represents about 40% of coronavirus cases in London. He added: “tomorrow it’ll be the majority of the cases” there.
Plan B will stay in force for at least six weeks, with a review on January 5.
A Health Department source told the Mirror: “If you follow the science, we should really be doing Plan C now. The PM is gambling with the NHS to save his leadership.
“But we all know the PM can’t let anything hit Christmas. That really did him damage last time round. To do it again would be killer.”