Coronavirus cases in the UK are soaring to the tens of thousands, despite having more than 80 per cent of the eligible population double vaccinated and 90 per cent with at least one jab.
The Prime Minister said lockdowns in winter will be “absolutely the last resort”, outlining two plans to prevent the National Health Service (NHS) from becoming overwhelmed.
If Plan A doesn’t work, Plan B would have to be implemented, meaning vaccine passports could be introduced in “certain settings”.
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The Government’s Plan A promotes vaccines, booster shots among the vulnerable and the identifying and isolating positive cases with the test, trace and isolate system.
It includes:
Maximising uptake of the vaccine among those that are eligible but have not yet taken up the offer.
Offering booster jabs to priority groups to increase immunity among the most vulnerable.
Offering a first dose of vaccine to 12-15 year olds.
Identify and isolate positive cases to limit transmission, and advise people on how to protect themselves and others.
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The Government’s Plan B would only be enacted if further measures are needed to protect the NHS.
This includes:
Communicating clearly and urgently to the public that the level of risk has increased, and with it the need to behave more cautiously.
Introducing mandatory vaccine-only COVID-status certification in certain settings.
Legally mandating face coverings in certain settings.
“We do not see the need now to proceed for instance with mandatory certification but we will continue to work with the many businesses that are getting ready for such a scheme,” the Prime Minister said at his Downing Street press conference.
UK records 39,000 new COVID-19 cases, 191 deaths
“And it is just not sensible to rule out completely this kind of option now when we must face the fact that it might still make the difference between keeping businesses open at full capacity or not.
“But in the meantime, we are confident in the vaccines that have made such a difference to our lives.”
The UK recorded 26,628 daily cases on Tuesday and 30,825 cases on Monday. There have been 963 deaths in the last seven days.
“COVID is still out there,” Mr Johnson said.
“The disease sadly still remains a risk, but I’m confident we can keep going with our plan to turn jabs jabs jabs into jobs jobs jobs.”
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