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The newspaper, which quotes three anonymous senior Whitehall officials, said sources told the newspaper the government decided to implement its so-called “plan B” of increased restrictions, including vaccine passports for adults. sites and an order to work from home.
The new restrictions could be announced at a press conference as early as Wednesday with regulations tabled in parliament on Thursday, according to government insiders speaking to the newspaper.
CNBC has contacted Downing Street for comment, but has yet to receive a response.
The move comes amid widespread concerns over the growing number of omicron Covid cases in the UK, where official data suggests 1,000 people a day are infected with the variant.
Experts commented this week that it could be a matter of weeks, rather than months, before it usurps the globally dominant delta variant.
Imperial College Professor Neil Ferguson, an influential epidemiologist among a cohort of experts advising the UK government on Covid, told The Times on Tuesday that early data suggests the number of omicron cases is doubling every ” three days or less ”.
The government said in November that if Plan B were passed, it would use the Covid pass (which designates individuals’ Covid vaccine status or a recent negative test, or recent recovery from Covid) to restrict access to certain public spaces , such as nightclubs and other crowded places, to fully immunized people.
“As part of plan B, the government plans to introduce compulsory certification of vaccines in a limited number of parameters, with specific characteristics. The government hopes that it would not be necessary to impose the certification of vaccines more broadly than these parameters, although this cannot be entirely ruled out. “, He said, adding that” if plan B is implemented, it could be short term in response to worrying data “.
Still, the omicron variant is causing a lot of concern as more information emerges to allow health officials to paint a more complete picture of its risk profile.
Christmas party disaster
Downing Street denies that a party took place, but video was obtained by broadcaster ITV showing senior Downing Street executives joking about hosting a Christmas party and how they might answer questions from the press at this subject.