Covid: PM says he will not hesitate to go further on Covid ruleson December 20, 2021 at 5:38 pm

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Ministers will rule nothing out as Omicron cases continue to surge ahead of Christmas, the PM says.

Boris Johnson

The government “won’t hesitate” to introduce further Covid measures in England as cases of the Omicron variant continue to surge ahead of Christmas, the prime minister has said.

Boris Johnson said ministers were “looking at all kinds of things” and would “rule nothing out”.

The PM said the data was being reviewed “hour by hour” but there were still “some things that we need to be clearer about before we decide to go further”.

He urged people to exercise caution.

A further 91,743 Covid cases were reported across the UK on Monday, the second highest daily total on record.

The government’s scientific advisers say new restrictions may be required very soon – and have suggested reducing the size of groups that can meet and closing venues where there is a high risk of transmission.

‘Further action’

Speaking after a two-hour cabinet meeting, Mr Johnson said: “Unfortunately I must say to people that we will have to reserve the possibility of taking further action to protect the public, to protect public health, to protect our NHS.”

Asked about the prospect of further restrictions, Mr Johnson said: “At the moment what I think we want people to focus on is exercising caution – so ventilation, masks in the appropriate places, all the usual stuff about washing hands, but remember how contagious Omicron really is.”

He acknowledged the impact of recent behavioural changes by some of people – such as booking cancellations – on businesses including the hospitality industry, saying the economic impacts would be kept “under constant review”.

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