Details of a possible post-Christmas lockdown in England emerged yesterday which included restrictions on indoor mixing, according to reports.
This has left people up and down the UK anxiously awaiting the next update from Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Reports suggest that UK Government ministers are currently debating how to tackle the spread of the Omicron variant and are apparently considering a two-week circuit breaker lockdown.
Boris Johnson was presented with several options that fall under “Plan C” on Friday, December 17, the Financial Times reported.
These measures range from “mild guidance to nudge people, right through to lockdown” for England.
Minutes from Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), seen by the BBC, have also been leaked which say that scientists have informed ministers that further restrictions will need to be brought in “very soon”.
Is Boris Johnson making an announcement today?
At the time of writing, no official announcement has been confirmed for today, Sunday December 19.
However, Boris Johnson is expected to hold an emergency Covid meeting. In previous weeks, these meetings have been followed by a televised announcement.
Last Sunday, December 12 at 8pm Johnson held an emergency press conference, announcing the extension of the booster jab programme and the new aim to have every adult offered their booster by New Year.
Pippa Crerar, political editor at the Daily Mirror, says she is not expecting an update from the Prime Minister today.
She tweeted: “We’re not expecting a Boris Johnson press conference today or any TV clips at this stage – which presumably means no update on restrictions.
“I’m told the PM is ‘always in touch with his advisers’ and ‘kept abreast of the data’ whether he is technically working or not.”
What could Plan C involve?
Advisers have recommended that the UK moves to restrictions seen in steps one and two of the easing of lockdown restrictions in the spring, according to the BBC report.
This would include a ban on indoor mixing and indoor hospitality.
Mr Johnson has warned Omicron is “a very serious threat to us now”.
On a visit to a vaccination centre in Hillingdon, west London, on Friday, he said: “We are seeing a considerable wave coming through and people have got to be prepared and they have got to understand what it entails.”
Asked about conflicting messages from the UK Government and its advisers on socialising over the Christmas break, Mr Johnson said: “What both Chris Whitty and I are saying is that there is a big wave of Omicron coming through.
“People need to be prudent. You need to think about your budget of risk.”