PM faces scrutiny over plan to ‘ride out’ Omicron

PM faces scrutiny over plan to ‘ride out’ Omicron

Boris Johnson is facing scrutiny after stating that he hopes England can “ride out” the current wave of Covid-19 without further restrictions.

He acknowledged parts of the NHS would feel “temporarily overwhelmed” amid a surge of Omicron cases.

The prime minister said there was a “good chance” he would not impose fresh measures and would recommend continuing the government’s “Plan B” strategy in England to ministers today.

He also announced plans for 100,000 critical workers to take daily tests.

The testing regime from 10 January will be for key industries including food processing, transport and the border force, in order to reduce the spread of the virus to colleagues.

Scientists have been calling on the government to toughen restrictions due to the surge in Omicron in the UK.

Several hospitals have now declared critical incidents, meaning they are under pressure and struggling to cope on wards.

Schools are also facing mounting pressure due to members of staff isolating, meaning children will either have to move into remote learning or classes will be merged into larger groups.

As there are no major changes to the current restrictions the PM will no doubt face scrutiny as to why he refuses to take measures further.

The PM also said that he will recommend England sticks with Plan B restrictions when cabinet ministers meet to discuss extending them.

The measures – which include working from home where possible, mask-wearing in most public settings and Covid passports in some venues – are currently due to run out on 28 January.

Boris Johnson will hold PM’s questions later on today, the first time since Christmas break.

The Prime Minister will face Angela Rayner as Kier Starmer has tested positive for covid for the second time.

Ministers are finalising plans to remove the advice that people who test positive on a lateral flow device in England should seek a confirmatory PCR test.

They are also working to remove the requirement for travellers to have a negative test two days before arriving in the UK – the so-called pre-departure test.


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Ellie joined Gi Media in July 2021.