A further 137,583 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases were recorded in England and Wales as of 9am on Sunday, the Government said

A person walking in a street
Covid cases continue to soar every day

Boris Johnson will reportedly delay a decision on any new Covid restrictions with ministers suggesting there is ‘nothing’ in the data to support tougher measures.

Concerns have been mounting over the impact of Omicron on the country’s workforce, as the Prime Minister tasked ministers with developing “robust contingency plans” for staff absences.

Health minister Ed Argar said the Government was “doing the responsible and sensible thing” by asking the public sector to prepare for a worst-case scenario of up to a quarter of staff off work.

MPs are due to return to the Commons on Wednesday following the Christmas recess.

The Government is set to review its Plan B measures on the same date.







Edward Argar
(

Image:

Richard Townshend)







Steve Barclay
(

Image:

Getty Images)

The regulations are not due to expire until January 26, but Downing Street said at the point they were announced in December that a review would take place three weeks after implementation.

Mr Argar said on Sunday that he saw “nothing” in the current data to suggest further measures were needed at present.

He told Times Radio: “Restrictions or curbs must be the absolute last resort. I’m seeing nothing at the moment in the data I have in front of me, in the immediate situation, that suggests a need for further restrictions. But that data changes day by day.”

Asked whether he could rule out announcements on wider restrictions on people in England in the coming week, Cabinet Office minister Steve Barclay also told Sky News: “We don’t think the data supports that at this stage.

“Of course, we keep the data under review, but we’ve seen significant behaviour change as a result of Plan B.”

Meanwhile, the i reports that any changes to restrictions are currently seen by ministers as unlikely with Boris Johnson set to delay a decision on any further measures.

A source said: “We are cautiously optimistic for now, but things could change in a single day.”

It comes after a further 137,583 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases were recorded in England and Wales as of 9am on Sunday, the Government said.

This was down on the 162,572 cases recorded in England alone on Saturday.

Meanwhile, secondary school children will be given lateral flow tests on-site and asked to carry out Covid tests twice a week as students return to the classroom.

The new measures come amid fears of a return to homeschooling as it was confirmed that masks would also need to be worn when schools re-open.

Amid a surge in cases of the Omicron variant of Covid, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi announced the new measures on Sunday.

He said: “Being in face to face learning is undoubtedly the very best place for children and young people’s education and wellbeing, and my priority remains on keeping early years settings, schools, colleges and universities open so that face-to-face education can continue.”

Read More

Read More

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.