The UK moving to Plan B in controlling the spread of Covid could cost the economy £18 billion.
According to leaked documents, the UK moving to Plan B in controlling the spread of Covid could cost the economy £18 billion.
Boris Johnson has rejected calls from health leaders to protect the NHS by bringing in back-up measures.
The news comes as the PM has been warned by the Treasury and Cabinet Office that restrictions lasting five months would cost up to £18 billion.
Weekly infections decreased yesterday in the UK for the first time in six weeks, suggesting that cases could drop dramatically by Christmas without the need for extra restrictions.
However, the UK saw its highest daily death toll since March with 263 deaths from the virus.
Hospitals are currently experiencing their highest level of Covid patients for over seven months.
Plan B would include mandatory masks, vaccine passports and remote work guidance, with scientists saying that working from home would have the most impact.
The leaked documents state that Covid passports for large venues would also have a ‘moderate’ effect, cutting transmission by up to 45 per cent.
However, this could mean more people going to poorly ventilated pubs where showing a passport wouldn’t be needed, warns a separate assessment.
According to the report by officials at the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, venues could lose up to £2 million if more restrictions are imposed.
The Government insists there is no need for Plan B: “The presumptions put forward here are untrue, and do not reflect government policy. There is no planned five-month timeline.”
But the DCMS said: “There is good evidence to suggest certification would have a beneficial impact on infection rates. “
“There is currently no evidence to suggest businesses have been impacted by lower attendance when certification is used.”
No.10 said Plan B would only be necessary if “pressure on the NHS is unsustainable,” but it would “help curb Covid cases while… allowing parts of the economy to remain open.”
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