Boris Johnson has said that Britain can “ride out the omicron wave” without entering a state of lockdown. This comes with the revelation that he intends on keeping plan B measures but will not go any further as he expressed his hope of handling the current Covid spike “without shutting down our country once again”.
Speaking at a Downing Street press conference, he reiterated that despite the new daily-high in cases, there is hope that the UK will not need any extra restrictions.
“Our position today differs from previous waves in two crucial respects. First, we now know that omicron is milder than previous variants, so while hospital admissions are rising quickly… this is not yet, thankfully, translating into the same numbers needing intensive care that we saw in previous waves.”
“Second, thanks to the fantastic national effort to get Britain boosted, we now have a substantial level of protection, higher than any of our European neighbours, with over 34 million boosters administered, including in England reaching more than 90 per cent of the over-70s and 86 per cent of the over-50s.”
“And so, together with the Plan B measures that we introduced before Christmas, we have a chance to ride out this omicron wave without shutting down our country once again.”
Therefore, despite the current Covid spike, it seems that the UK will not have a repeat of 2020. However, it goes without saying that this could change in the coming weeks depending on a variety of factors.
The Prime Minister also addressed how staffing shortages are becoming a bigger problem in many industries, and that the government had already identified 100,000 critical workers, including those in food processing, transport and border control, who will be offered daily lateral flow tests to help keep essential services open.