Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to deliver a TV announcement related to Covid restrictions later today, as the UK is gripped by a huge increase in Omicron cases
Restrictions have already been put in place to tackle the Omicron variant, which continues to spread like wildfire across the UK.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has regularly held briefings to keep the public in the loop with another expected announcement today.
Huge case numbers could ultimately see further restrictions laid on the UK, however, at the time of writing the PM has refused to outline further measures.
Yesterday, on January 3, Boris said he felt that the current Plan B restrictions remained suitable, despite soaring cases.
He said: “The way forward for the country as a whole is to continue with the path that we’re on.
“We keep all measures under review, but the mixture of things that we’re doing at the moment is I think, the right one.”
What time is Boris Johnson’s Covid announcement?
POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The Prime Minister is due to give his latest briefing at 5pm today.
Many remain concerned that further restrictions will be needed to effectively fight back against the enormous Omicron wave.
Johnson was said to be considering moving the current national response on to ” step two ” after Christmas, however the restrictions – which many expected before the new year – never arrived.
The Department of Health reported 157,758 new cases on January 3, taking the total from the last seven days to massive 1,189,985.
It has also reported 880 new deaths over the last week.
The PM has admitted that the UK is set to face a tough start to the year. He said: “I think we’ve got to recognise that the pressure on our NHS, on our hospitals, is going to be considerable in the the next couple of weeks, and maybe more.”
His words came during a visit to a vaccination centre, however, he did reiterate his desire to stay on the current path.
He said: “I appreciate the pressures that our hospitals are under, I think it’s vital that we make sure that we help them by trying to contain the pandemic in the ways that I’ve set out.
“So do all the things that I’ve said, make sure we follow a Plan B, get boosted but also help the NHS with their staffing requirements, and we’re looking at what we can do to move people into those areas that are particularly badly affected.
“Don’t forget that… no matter how incredibly transmissible Omicron is – and there’s no question it really spreads very, very fast – it is different from previous variants.
“And it does seem pretty conclusively to be less severe than Delta or Alpha, and it is putting fewer people into ICU, and sadly the people who are getting into ICU are the people who aren’t boosted, so get boosted.”
What restrictions are already in place?
The Prime Minister has already overseen a return of masks in shops and on public transport, as well as in places of worship and indoor venues.
Masks have also been introduced in classrooms across the country.
Citizens have also been asked to work from home whenever possible.
Covid passes or evidence of a negative lateral flow test are also now mandatory for entry into crowded venues and large gatherings.
It is reported that the PM is keen to wait for more data, especially relating to hospitalisations before ordering further restrictions.