No new coronavirus restrictions in England this year, Government says

The Health Secretary has said no further coronavirus restrictions will be introduced in England before the new year after ministers reviewed the latest data.

Sajid Javid said “people should remain cautious” and urged those marking the start of 2022 to consider testing themselves beforehand and to celebrate outside, with the Omicron variant growing so fast that it accounts for 90% of all new Covid-19 cases.

The decision not to impose restrictions beyond the Plan B measures already in place in England comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson was briefed on the impact Christmas mixing had had on coronavirus infections and hospital admissions.

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Mr Javid told broadcasters on Monday: “We look at the data on a daily basis – that hasn’t changed over the Christmas period.

“But there will be no further measures before the new year. Of course, people should remain cautious as we approach New Year’s celebrations.

“Take a lateral flow test if that makes sense, celebrate outside if you can, have some ventilation if you can.

“Please remain cautious and when we get into the new year, of course, we will see then whether we do need to take any further measures, but nothing more until then, at least.”

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said that it is up to each of the nations in the United Kingdom to decide their own restrictions.

He said: “It’s for each country that makes up the United Kingdom to decide how it wants to go forward.

“So for example in England, we decided back in July that we would open up in the summer. I think we look back now and that has been the right decision.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said that he wanted everyone to have a “credible opportunity to get their booster” and that he wanted to see 100% of people receiving the top-up by the end of the year.

He said that since the Government had learned of the Omicron variant its strategy had been to “buy time”, adding that while there was uncertainty over the variant, the best form of defence was vaccination.

He said there were “disproportionate” levels of unvaccinated people being admitted to hospital, adding: “Can I please say to people, please do come forward… protect yourselves, protect your loved ones and protect your community.”

He said that there were “plenty of slots”, with 1.5m slots available over the next few days and that while the NHS was “doing a brilliant job”, the Goverment needed people to come forward.

BusinessLive – West Midlands