Officials have detected 336 new Omicron cases since late November, and experts believe this total could soon become thousands. The new virus has come at an unfortunate time, as most of Europe and the US prepares to celebrate Christmas. Britons are eager to know whether the Government means to trigger Plan B, which would crack down on their freedom before the big day.
Will the Government trigger Plan B?
Ministers created Plan B Covid response to protect Britons if the pandemic became too much to bear.
In action, it could mean Covid certificates, mandatory mask use in more locations and work from home arrangements.
Omicron has the potential to push the UK over the edge, as scientists fear it could bypass immunity afforded by vaccines.
According to one Westminster insider, however, the Government is not prepared to trigger Plan B yet.
They told the I newspaper the rise in cases is “almost inevitable” but wouldn’t be enough to convince ministers to engage a winter crackdown.
Officially, the Government has said it won’t consider implementing Plan B until Omicron increases hospitalisations.
Ministers are yet to make a final decision, however.
Exhausted doctors and full hospital beds will ultimately leave people fighting for their lives when they shouldn’t be.
Doctors have urgently warned against waiting until “a crisis is reached”.
Speaking to The Guardian, Dr Paul Donaldson, a microbiologist serving as general secretary of the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association, said that “at the very least” Plan B should hinge on “a sustained increase in hospitalisations”.
He added waiting until crisis point would be “completely self-defeating” and put the NHS at risk of “meltdown”.