BORIS Johnson is “very confident” a winter lockdown won’t be needed as he prepares to unveil a toolbox of measures to avoid a seasonal spike.
But he refused to give a cast-iron guarantee, stressing: “We’ve got to do everything that’s right to protect the country.”
The PM will tomorrow lay out his blueprint to avoid another NHS-crippling spike throughout the colder months.
On a visit to Leicestershire he said: “The way things are going at the moment we’re very confident in the steps that we’ve taken.
“I’ll be setting out a lot more tomorrow. I’ll be giving a full update on the plans.”
Tomorrow’s press conference with top docs Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance is pencilled for 4pm.
The PM is expected to say he is “dead set” against imposing another lockdown.
His official spokesman said today: “We are in a very different place than where we were previously when other lockdowns were introduced, thanks to the success of our vaccine programme and other things like therapeutics treatments for coronavirus.
“We would only ever consider those sort of measures as a last resort and we will set out in more detail tomorrow what our approach will be should we see a significant increase in cases.”
In a press conference at 4pm tomorrow he is expected to abandon plans for vaccine passports.
Instead he will hail a booster jabs blitz for the over-50s as the best “tool” to fight off a fourth surge.
Ministers are also mulling giving a single shot to 12 to 15-year-olds to wrestle down infection as kids go back to school.
The PM also urged the “10 per cent or so” who still have not had a single jab to “please go and get one”, also directing his plea to younger people.
“Don’t forget that the vast majority of people who are suffering seriously from Covid are unvaccinated,” he added.
“Very sadly, people who are still succumbing to Covid, dying from Covid, are the unvaccinated, so please go and get your jab.”
Yesterday Sajid Javid announced the Government was ditching Covid papers for clubs and stadiums due for September following an angry backlash from Tory MPs.
The Health Secretary said: “What I can say is that we’ve looked at it properly and whilst we should keep it in reserve as a potential option, I’m pleased to say that we will not be going ahead with plans for vaccine passports.”
Downing Street says the certificates have not been ruled out indefinitely and that the PM will seek to keep his emergency lockdown powers for another six months.
Lockdown-hating backbenchers are demanding ALL measures are axed permanently and are plotting to vote down his winter blueprint.
Chair of the Covid Recovery Group Mark Harper said: “They shouldn’t be kept in reserve – they are pointless, damaging and discriminatory.”
Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey today said there were “many tools in the toolbox” that remained.
The Cabinet Minister would not rule out tighter restrictions on masks and working from home.
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