BORIS Johnson today ramped up calls for Brits to get boosted – warning that “Omicron is still out there”.
In a sobering wake-up call for the un-jabbed the PM said 90 per cent of Covid intensive care patients had not yet been vaccinated.
Mr Johnson is facing pressure to drop Plan B measures at the end of the month and announce a timeline to phase out all remaining curbs.
It follows encouraging evidence that Omicron is far milder and not crippling the NHS to breaking point as first feared.
But on a visit to a vaccine centre in West London this morning the PM warned we are not out of the woods yet.
He said: “What I would say to everybody is that you know Omicron is still out there, it’s incredibly contagious.
“Everybody will know somebody who has who has had it, it can be can be pretty unpleasant.
“Sadly, as you know, 90 per cent of the people who are in ICU with Covid have not been vaccinated and it’s absolutely crucial that everybody gets that booster so they can make a huge difference.
“Because we’ve got to make sure that we see off Omicron – we’re making great progress.”
More than 36million adults have now received their third jab amid evidence Omicron is 90 per cent less severe for people with boosters.
The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is helping get the vital extra vaccines in Brits’ arms to ward off the need for any new restrictions.
The encouraging data has triggered demands for Mr Johnson to throw off remaining Covid curbs like mandatory masks and working from home.
Levelling Up Secretary Mr Gove this morning admitted the country should start learning to live with the virus once the NHS is in the clear.
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He told the BBC: “Our first responsibility at the moment must be to support the NHS.”
But… if we get through – and at the moment, I hope and pray that we will get through this difficult period – then there will be better times ahead.
“And I think one of the things that we need to do is how we live with this particular type of coronavirus.
“So guided by the science, we can look to the progressive lifting of restrictions. But I think for all of us, the sooner the better.”
FREEDOM DAY 2.0
Plan B restrictions, which also includes vaccine passports, are set to be reviewed ahead of their January 26 expiry date.
Tory MPs – 100 of whom rebelled against the measures last month – are agitating for a Freedom Day 2.0 where all restrictions are torn up forever.
After Mr Gove’s remarks this morning, one backbencher told The Sun: “It feels like we’re close to having won the war.”
They added: “The PM deserves a lot of credit for not giving into pressure for more restrictions over the past month, but ultimately it’s this big watershed moment that will give long lasting certainty and confidence to businesses and communities.”
Ministers are also under pressure to reduce the Covid isolation time from seven to five days to help industries struggling with staffing crises.
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi yesterday became the first Cabinet Minister to publicly break ranks and back the move.
Experts are increasingly hopeful Omicron is past the peak and will not swamp hospitals to breaking point.
NHS Providers chief Chris Hopson said he now reckons the “front line will hold”.