British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has revealed that there won’t be any new Omicron COVID-19 measures before Christmas, but there could still be changes to come later this month.
According to the report by Metro Uk, the prime minister confirmed the government has ruled immediate Omicron COVID-19 measures in a video message shortly after more than 90,000 new coronavirus cases were confirmed.
Mr Johnson reiterated comments he made yesterday after a special meeting of the cabinet that there is not currently sufficient evidence to justify another lockdown or tighter rules.
Scientists are still trying to determine how severe the Omicron variant is and how effective the current vaccines are against it.
But the PM left the door open to new measures after Christmas and warned the situation remains ‘finely balanced’.
Ministers have reportedly considered a number of Omicron COVID-19 measures, including a two-week circuit breaker lockdown, but are divided on how to proceed.
He said: ‘There is no doubt that Omicron continues to surge with a speed unlike anything we’ve seen before.
‘The situation remains extremely difficult but I also recognise that people have been waiting to hear whether their Christmas plans are going to be affected.
‘So what I can say tonight is that naturally we can’t rule out any further Omicron COVID-19 measures after Christmas – and we’re going to keep a constant eye on the data, and we’ll do whatever it takes to protect public health.
‘But in view of the continuing uncertainty about several things – the severity of Omicron, uncertainty about the hospitalisation rate or the impact of the vaccine rollout or the boosters, we don’t think today that there is enough evidence to justify any tougher measures before Christmas.
‘We continue to monitor Omicron very closely and if the situation deteriorates we will be ready to take action if needed.
‘What this means is that people can go ahead with their Christmas plans but the situation remains finely balanced and I would urge everyone to exercise caution, to keep protecting yourselves and your loved ones, especially the vulnerable.
‘And remember to keep following the guidance – wear a mask indoors when required to do so, keep fresh air circulating, and take a test before you visit elderly or vulnerable relatives.’
Some virus experts and medical workers have called on the government to take immediate action to ease pressure on the health service.
A major incident has already been declared in London, with emergency services struggling to cope with a huge surge in demand.
Modelling presented to ministers warned there could be a huge peak of hospitalisations in January if vaccines turn out to be less resistant against Omicron than hoped.
The move puts the Westminster government at odds with leaders in Wales and Scotland, who have already gone further and have announced measures that will come into effect after Christmas.