The government’s Covid ‘Plan B’ might see measures reintroduced.
Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, said his government has no preparations for another national lockdown, but that a Plan B should be explored if the Covid-19 situation worsens significantly over the winter.
Mr Javid put out the government’s essential winter plan in the House of Commons today, hoping to prevent the need for another lockdown.
He stated that the approach will be focused on vaccines, and that he has accepted suggestions from the Joint Committee on Vaccinations to start booster covid shots for individuals over 50 and vulnerable groups next week.
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Jabs for children aged 12 to 15 have also been approved and will begin soon.
The UK is moving ‘cautiously’ towards normalcy, according to the Health Secretary, but the autumn and winter months offer new risks and problems.
He noted that for people who test positive for covid and close contacts, testing, tracing, and isolation will continue, and that those who are forced off work will continue to receive Statutory Sick Pay.
The government is keen to prevent any further restrictions or lockdowns, but Mr Javid said the government has a ‘Plan B’ in place in case the situation swiftly worsens and the NHS becomes unmanageable.
He suggested that this may include new mask regulations, in which people would be required to wear face covers in public places such as public transportation.
He also stated that employees may be invited to work from home again if they are able.
While he indicated earlier this week that the government would not be implementing vaccine passports for nightclubs and other places, he added that the option would be kept in reserve and may be used at a later date.
“Any responsible administration must prepare for all eventualities,” Mr Javid said ahead of the Prime Minister’s news conference later today. “While these measures are not something that anyone wants, we must prepare just in case.”