As the Omicron variety spreads across England, the health secretary Sajid Javid has refused to rule out more Covid restrictions.
In the United Kingdom, another 12,133 Omicron cases have been confirmed, though the true number is likely to be much higher.
Sajid Javid, when asked about additional efforts to slow the spread of the epidemic, said there were “no assurances in this pandemic.” At a Cobra meeting on Sunday, the government and regional leaders discussed the matter.
When asked if he was considering a circuit-breaker – a brief, quick lockdown – or new limitations before Christmas, Mr Javid told Andrew Marr of the BBC: “I don’t think there are any assurances in this pandemic.”
“Right now, all we have to do is keep everything under review.”
Following several days of new highs last week, another 82,886 daily Covid instances were registered across the UK on Sunday.
And, according to leaked papers from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergency (Sage), hospital admissions in England could reach 3,000 per day if no action is taken beyond present Plan B restrictions.
“It’s a really sobering analysis,” Mr Javid said of the notes. It’s something we take extremely seriously.”
“We do have to confront evidence and underlying assumptions, I think that is reasonable,” he noted. “We do have to take into account a broader range of facts,” he added.
In England, current Plan B restrictions include Covid passes for some events, the use of face masks in more areas, and the encouragement of people to work from home if possible.
Other UK nations have similar laws, however Scotland has gone even further in the run-up to Christmas, urging people to limit social interaction to three families at a time, and may go even further in the new year.
Nightclubs in Wales have also been ordered to close as of December 27.