Live news from December 20: Davos meeting next month canceled amid Omicron concerns, Turkish lira spins as Erdogan vows to ‘not back down’ on rate cuts, Moderna booster produces a strong antibody response against Omicron
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ruled out the introduction of stricter coronavirus restrictions in England for the time being, but said the government would not hesitate to introduce new measures and had not ruled anything out.
Speaking after a cabinet meeting, Johnson said on Monday that ministers agreed to keep coronavirus data “under constant scrutiny” and that the government reserved the “possibility of taking further action”.
“The arguments anyway are very finely balanced because we have Omicron cases increasing across the country now, we have hospitalizations increasing quite sharply in London and the obvious conclusion is that it was right to go. quickly for ‘Plan B’, “he said. ITV News.
“We’re looking at all kinds of things to keep Omicron in check and we’re not ruling out anything, but for now I think we want people to focus on being careful,” he said.
Any introduction of new restrictions in the coming days will likely put Johnson on a collision course with his ministers, at least 10 of whom have reportedly expressed concern over coronavirus modeling and the extension of curbs.
Former Brexit Minister Lord David Frost, who resigned from cabinet on Saturday, said the possibility of further coronavirus restrictions was one of the reasons for his departure from government.
“I left the government, as I think is well known, because I couldn’t support certain policies,” he told Sky News on Monday, referring to recent Covid restrictions and the plan B. “If you are a minister, you have to support collective responsibility, you have to support government decisions, and I couldn’t, that’s why I had to leave.
Over 24 million reminders have now been administered across the country, with more than 1m Saturday, as the NHS battles to meet the government’s deadline to offer a reminder to every adult in England by the end of the month.
According to the latest figures from the British Health Security Agency on Monday, 8,044 new cases of Omicron have been reported across the UK, bringing the total number of confirmed cases involving the variant to 45,145.
Johnson has urged the public to continue to come forward for his booster shots. “I say to all those people who are not vaccinated, whether it is out of apathy or for some reason, please, please, please, think of this as a good thing to do for yourself, your family and for your community. Boost yourself now.