BRITS won’t be plunged back into lockdown again this winter, a Cabinet minister vowed today.
Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng insisted he would “rule out” the return of harsh restrictions on travel and our daily lives.
He said talk of a shutdown is “completely unhelpful” and people should look forward to events like Christmas parties “as usual” this year.
But he also admitted the Government is “concerned about” rising cases, hospitalisations, and deaths.
Asked about calls from some scientists for another lockdown, he said: “I would rule that out. I absolutely think it would be completely wrong.
“Throughout this process there have been people saying the lockdown was unnecessary and other people saying we should continue the lockdown.
“We’ve really plotted a path between those two extremes and it has worked.”
He added: “What we want to do is manage the situation as it is. We don’t want to go back into lockdown or into further restrictions.”
Mr Kwarteng said the vaccine rollout has “changed our total approach” to restrictions and urged everyone to come forward for booster jabs.
He revealed Government scientists are looking at fresh data “hour by hour”.
But he said they don’t yet feel there’s a need to trigger Plan B, which would bring in face masks, working from home, and vaccine passports.
He added: “There was always going be a risk the infection rates would go up as we opened up the economy.
“Of course there is the risk of greater infections, but the critical thing is looking at the hospitalisation and sadly death rates.
“And those compared to where we were just in January are much much lower.
“It’s still a difficult situation but it’s a much much better situation than it was just 4/5 months ago when we were still in the middle of a lockdown.”