politics

Christmas set to be normal this year as ministers 'not expecting' any winter lockdowns


Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said ‘of course’ Brits will get a Christmas and New Year this year and insists the Government is ‘not anticipating any more lockdowns’

Shoppers wearing face masks carry bags along Oxford Street in London
No more lockdowns are expected, according to Health Secretary Sajid Javid

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has insisted ministers are not expecting ‘any more lockdowns’ and promised C hristmas will not be cancelled this year.

Asked on the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show if Britons will ‘get Christmas’ this year, Mr Javid said: “Yes, of course we get Christmas and the New Year.”

Mr Javid told viewers he is ‘not anticipating any more lockdowns’ but added that governments could take ‘anything off the table’.

“I just don’t see how we get to another lockdown,” the Health Secretary said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will next week unveil the government’s ‘winter plan’, and it’s expected that he will say vaccines can be the main defence against Covid-19 if cases surge over the coming months.








Health Secretary Sajid Javid said ‘of course’ there will be a Christmas this year
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Image:

VIA REUTERS)



In December last year, tough new restrictions were imposed on families across England after the emergence of the Kent variant, effectively cancelling Christmas for millions.

Top-up jabs may start as early as next week, while a giant ad campaign urging people to get the double protection will soon be aired, reports The Sun.

Vaccine passports, more indoor masks and interventions such as working from home could return return if cases continue to surge and the NHS comes under heavy pressure.

It comes as Mr Javid announced plans to introduce vaccine passports in England for nightclubs and other crowded venues have been scrapped.

Mr Javid confirmed the proposals “will not be going ahead” on Sunday, just days after ministers had defended the policy to sceptical MPs.








Prime Minister Boris Johnson will next week unveil the government’s ‘winter plan’
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Image:

PA)



The PM had previously announced that members of the public would be required to show proof they have had two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine in order to gain entry to clubs and other large-scale events in England. But following a backlash from Tory MPs, the Health Secretary said the idea had been shelved.

He told the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show: “I’ve never liked the idea of saying to people you must show your papers or something to do what is just an everyday activity, but we were right to properly look at it.

“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.”

Mr Javid also said he wanted to remove the need for PCR tests for travel “as soon as I possibly can”.

But asked whether ministers were removing too many measures designed to keep the public safe, he said the Government should not be introducing coronavirus measures “just for the sake of it”.








No new restrictions are expected this year
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Image:

Getty Images)



He told The Andrew Marr Show: “There’s a lot of defences, we’ve just gone through some of them, that we need to keep in place, because this virus hasn’t gone anywhere.

“There’s still a pandemic so of course we need to remain cautious. But we just shouldn’t be doing things for the sake of it or because others are doing, and we should look at every possible intervention properly.”]




The Government said a further 56 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Sunday, bringing the UK total to 134,200.

Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have now been 158,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

As of 9am on Sunday, there had been a further 29,173 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK, the Government said.





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