UK could be plunged into 2-week lockdown with indoor mixing ban after Christmas

UK government ministers are reportedly drafting up a two-week circuit-breaker lockdown for January amidst the new Covid-19 Omicron surge.

The circuit breaker would include a ban on mixing indoors with friends and family outside your household, except for work purposes, in a bid to curb the rising positive cases, the Times reports.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that he will not enforce a national lockdown or tell people to cancel events. The PM has instead urged everyone to act with caution.

This follows Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty advising the British public to scale back and prioritise our Christmas plans as the country reaches a new daily record of positive Covid cases from 78,610 on Wednesday (16 December) to 93,045 new daily cases on Friday (17 December).

The PM's spokesman denied that Number 10 has been sending out mixed messages about socialising over Christmas.

He added: "(Both the Prime Minister and the Chief Medical Officer) were making the point that given the current infection rate people should be cautious and think carefully before mixing with others".

A 'plan C' is also reportedly being considered, containing "mild guidance to nudge people, right through to lockdown". This follows scientists advising the government to bring in tougher measures.

Pubs and restaurants will be limited to outdoor-service only if the circuit breaker is given the green light, causing the hospitality sector to be greatly effected.

Conservative MP Steve Brine has accused the government of "putting hospitality into effective lockdown".

Mr Brine said Professor Whitty's comments meant businesses were facing "complete ruin" and more government support was needed.

To stay up to date with all the latest news, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is facing demands for increased financial support to help the affected sectors cope with booking cancellations and profit loss amid the spread of the Omicron variant.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I’ve said already that people should be cautious, but what we have also said is that people should decide what they want to do. It is a matter for their personal choice.

“We are not closing things down but we do think people need to be cautious.”

Source: Read Full Article