People may soon be told to work from home under a package of new coronavirus restrictions being considered by Boris Johnson in an attempt to tackle the Omicron variant of Covid-19, according to ITV News.
Sources in Downing Street have insisted that “no decision has been made,” but several reports say further action may be imminent.
It is understood that there will be a coronavirus press conference tonight to inform the public of any new projects.
The government has repeatedly warned that Plan B measures could be put in place at any time, and the emergence of Omicron has led to an increase in calls for tighter restrictions.
Mr Johnson told his cabinet on Tuesday that “the first indications were that it was more transmissible” than the Delta strain – the plan was to fight its spread with booster shots, but ITV News understands this is on the way. point to change.
Plan B could see mandatory masks in more places, proof of vaccine status to enter certain places and advice for working from home where possible could come back.
A prominent member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has warned that a full UK-wide lockdown to address the threat of the Omicron variant cannot be ruled out, although the current threat posed by the strain remains uncertain.
The restrictions could play a role in slowing the spread of the variant to allow more time for the jab booster campaign to progress.
But any move to introduce new restrictions will be treated with suspicion as the government comes under intense pressure following allegations of rule violations in Downing Street last Christmas.
It comes after ITV News obtained a video showing senior executives in Downing Street laughing at having a party in Number 10 four days after the event allegedly took place last December.
In the video, staff can be heard referencing ‘cheese and wine’, while Mr Johnson’s spokeswoman at the time, Allegra Stratton, noted that there was’ absolutely no social distancing “.
Critics of the government have suggested that the public will be less inclined to follow the new coronavirus rules if they believe they weren’t followed by the people who created them.
Sage member Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London, whose data was instrumental in the UK’s March 2020 lockdown, said the variant was concerning, but it’s still unclear not what its impact will be on serious illnesses.
He suggested people might be asked to work from home in the near future, as Omicron is spreading rapidly, with the variant set to take over from the Delta strain before Christmas.
Urged on whether lockdowns might be possible, he told the BBC: “It certainly could be possible right now. ”