BRITS will be able to enjoy a “normal” Christmas this year but should self-test before visiting elderly relatives, Sajid Javid said today.
The health secretary insisted the festive season will be “safe” so long as enough people get out and take their booster jabs.
He dismissed Labour’s calls for Plan B restrictions including mask wearing, working from home, and vaccine passports to be triggered now.
And he called on the five millions Brits who haven’t yet had the vaccine at all to come forward this winter.
Asked if he agrees with Boris Johnson that this Christmas will be much better than last year’s, he replied: “Yes, of course.
“For all of those like me hoping and planning for a normal Christmas – I do think that’s where we’ll be – if you want that let’s keep playing our part.”
Mr Javid said people should “be cautious and take sensible actions to try and prevent the spread of the virus” as winter closes in.
In particular he urged people to start taking Lateral Flow Tests before going to visit elderly relatives.
He also said Brits should wear masks in crowded public places and keep up basic hygiene practices like hand washing.
No Plan B
Mr Javid insisted the pandemic data doesn’t yet show that the Government needs to trigger Plan B.
He said: “We are not at that point. Whether we get there or not, we will see.
“But the best thing we can all do to try and prevent us moving to Plan B or taking any further measures is to get out there and get our vaccines.”
The health secretary also said he is “leaning towards” making jabs mandatory for all NHS workers within weeks.
His remarks came after NHS England’s top doctor urged Brits to get their booster jabs to save festive celebrations.
Professor Stephen Powis said people must “take up the offer” of a third dose to “protect the freedom and Christmas that we have all earned”.
Mr Javid said the booster rollout has “picked up substantially” in recent days as more and more people come forward.
A record 800,000 jabs were administered during the final three days of last week, including 325,140 on Saturday alone.
And the PM was also handed another major boost as scientists predicted Covid cases will plummet within weeks without the need for Plan B.
Experts believe the number of new infections could sink from 50,000 a day now to just 5,000 in time for Christmas.
One model, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, suggests cases will peak shortly then fall off in the winter.
Other unpublished models are also said to show infections nosediving, The Telegraph understands.
But scientists warned new cases could start to rise again in the Spring as the immunity provided by booster jabs wears off.