Boris Johnson has confirmed that there will be no further Covid restrictions for the moment
In a pooled TV interview he told reporters after a two hour cabinet meeting that “The situation was extremely difficult and arguments finely balanced’.
-‘We should keep the data from now on under constant review… hour by hour’.
A government source said: “The data isn’t there yet to justify further restrictions. There’s still so much that we don’t know about the severity of the variant and the extent to which vaccination and boosters sever the link between cases and hospitalisations.”
However he confirmed that “We are looking at all kinds of things to keep Omicron under control and we can rule nothing out”
Johnson also urged people: “Please exercise caution as you go about your lives.”
Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting tweeted
“People just want to be able to plan ahead. For businesses this is essential. The Prime Minister’s dither and delay has nothing to do with public health, everything to do with his party, and is costing the country dear.”
Earlier it was reported that civil servants had prepared three possible scenarios.
The first would be non-legally binding advice to families to limit indoor mixing over the Christmas period.
The second would enforce restrictions on indoor mixing, bring back social distancing and impose an 8 p.m. curfew on pubs and restaurants.
The third option is a full firebreak lockdown.
Doing the media rounds this morning Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said that the government is waiting for real-time data on the severity of Omicron before it can take any decisions on further restrictions.
Asked if he can rule out Christmas lockdowns, he said: “We can’t make hard fast guarantees.”
The booster rollout makes tougher restrictions “much less likely” though – but “it depends on the severity of Omicron”, Raab adds.