Health Secretary Sajid Javid says the Government can not rule out further restrictions before Christmas

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has not ruled out the possibility of new coronavirus measures before Christmas during a television appearance on The Andrew Marr Show.

By Colin Ainscough
Sunday, 19th December 2021, 11:00 am
Updated Sunday, 19th December 2021, 11:02 am

Asked on the show on BBC One whether he could rule it out, the Health Secretary said: “We are assessing the situation, it’s very fast-moving. We’ve seen with Omicron there’s a lot that we still don’t know about Omicron.

“That’s the truth of the matter. The reality is there’s a lot of uncertainty.”

And he said it was “time to be more cautious”.

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Health Secretary Sajid Javid

“We know this thing is spreading rapidly. We know already now that in London, it’s around 80% of infections, in England it’s around 60% of infections,” he added.

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Mr Javid described advice from Government scientific advisers warning of the possible impact on hospital admissions from Omicron as “sobering” and said there are “no guarantees” when asked about the possibility of further restrictions.

He continued: “It’s a very sobering analysis. We take it very seriously.”

He added: “We do have to challenge data and underlying assumptions, I think that is appropriate, and take into account a broader set of facts.”

When it was suggested to him he was not ruling out a circuit-breaker or new restrictions before Christmas, Mr Javid said: “There are no guarantees in this pandemic, I don’t think.

“At this point we just have to keep everything under review.”

More than 90,000 people tested positive for Covid on Saturday, December 18, 2021, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 11,279,428.

The latest data also showed that 125 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, bringing the UK total to 147,173.