‘Good chance’ fresh restrictions won’t be imposed says PM

By Nikkie Thatcher contact

- Last updated on GMT

Government address: Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a Downing Street press conference last night (Tuesday 4 January)
Government address: Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a Downing Street press conference last night (Tuesday 4 January)

Related tags: Legislation, Government, Boris johnson, ukhospitality

Prime Minister Boris Johnson implied it was unlikely further Covid measures would be implemented to tackle the spread of Omicron.

In a press conference last night (Tuesday 4 January), Johnson was joined by chief medical officer for England Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance, where he outlined how the booster roll out and current restrictions suggests a national lockdown will not be required to tackle the Omicron variant.

Johnson said: “Together with the Plan B measures we introduced before Christmas, we have a chance to ride out this Omicron wave, without shutting down our country once again.

“We can keep our schools and our businesses open and we can find a way to live with this virus. But the weeks ahead are going to be challenging, both here in the UK and across the world.

Proportionate, balanced approach

The PM added: “There is no escaping the fact some services will be disrupted by staff absences but we’ve been working through Christmas to prepare for this wherever possible.”

He went on to say to say the Government has identified 100,000 critical works from food processing to transport to border force and from 10 January will be rolling out lateral flow testing for all these workers on every working day.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls tweeted: “We very much welcome the PM’s decision to stick with Plan B to get through the Omicron wave without further restrictions.

“This is a proportionate, balanced approach, which protects livelihoods as well as lives and avoids economic, social and mental health impacts of restrictions.”

Devastated December

The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) chief executive James Calder said it was reassuring for small independent breweries the Prime Minister has committed to no further changes to restrictions in England.

He added: “But for independent brewers and pubs, the situation was and continues to be massively affected by the mixed messaging in December, which is normally the most important month of the year for hospitality.

“Pubs have proven they can operate safely and now in January, brewers and pubs need people’s support more than ever after a devastated December.

“So whether you are popping in for a lunchtime meal, a post-work pint, or for a non-alcoholic option and a catch up with a friend, support pubs and breweries this January because without this trade, many will not survive.”

Related topics: Legislation

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