Plan B involves new guidelines for working from home if possible, as well as the introduction of Covid passes for crowded places such as nightclubs, and is intended to be introduced if the NHS is at risk of being overwhelmed.
Important sources in Whitehall said a meeting of the government Covid-O committee has been called to discuss whether to step up restrictions, with a press conference expected later today to announce changes.
Sources in Downing Street said “no decision has been made” on Plan B ahead of the meeting, suggesting there is still a possibility Mr Johnson will refrain from imposing further restrictions.
News of the meeting was greeted with skepticism by Westminster insiders who suspected the timing may have been calculated to distract from damaging headlines on an alleged Christmas party at 10 Downing Street last year .
A member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said today that a UK-wide lockdown to address the omicron threat cannot be ruled out.
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 is still unclear what its impact will be. on serious illnesses.