Government ministers are reportedly discussing the possibility of banning households from mixing over Christmas as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the UK.
A proposed so-called “Plan C” could also enforce mask-wearing indoors, working from home and the use of mask wearing indoors. It comes after Health Secretary Sajid Javid warned the public on Wednesday (October 20) that the “pandemic is not over” and cases could reach over 100,000 per day.
A Whitehall source told The Telegraph:“ The focus is very much on measures that can be taken without a major economic impact, so keeping shops, pubs and restaurants open but looking at other ways to reduce the risks.”
Mr Javid said: “Thanks to the vaccination programme, yes the link between cases and hospitalisations and deaths has significantly weakened, but it’s not broken.
He also urged all people eligible for a third jab come forward, stressing the booster is there “not just to save lives, but to keep your freedoms too”.
He said: “We must all play our part in this national mission, and think about what we can do to make a difference. That means getting the jab when the time comes, whether it’s for Covid-19 or flu.”
The number of daily Covid-19 cases has been growing steadily since the end of September. On Wednesday (Oct. 20), 49,139 more cases were announced. Despite the rise in cases, the government have so far resisted calls to introduce stricter measures.
Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday (Oct. 21), Health Minister Edward Argar denied claims that the government were discussing plans to introduce additional measures.
Amidst growing concerns from health officials over a sharp rise in cases, doctors have expressed their frustration at the government and called their resistance to introduce stricter measures “wilfully negligent”.
The chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA), Dr Chaand Nagpaul, echoed this: “The Westminster Government said it would enact ‘Plan B’ to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed; as doctors working on the frontline, we can categorically say that time is now.”
He added: “By the Health Secretary’s own admission we could soon see 100,000 cases a day and we now have the same number of weekly Covid deaths as we had during March, when the country was in lockdown. It is therefore incredibly concerning that he is not willing to take immediate action to save lives and to protect the NHS.”