Sage warns a New Year lockdown can’t be ruled out as Omicron could be hospitalising 1000 patients a day by then.
Speaking at a press conference given today, December 8 at Downing street, the Prime Minister said “Omicron cases appear to be doubling every to three days, suggesting the variant is spreading much faster than Delta, prompting a need for Plan B.”
Meaning that from Monday, all bar key workers will be asked, but not legally obliged to work from home.
He said: “I know this will be hard for many people, but by reducing your contacts in the workplace, you will help slow transmission.
“I don’t think we can keep going indefinitely with restrictions on people’s way of life just because a substantial number of people have not got vaccinated. We have to have a national conversation about the way forward.”
Senior Cabinet Ministers met today to rubber-stamp the changes that signal a fresh blow to hopes of a normal Christmas.
Leaked minutes from Sage seen by the BBC show that a New Year lockdown can’t be ruled out because there will be a massive rise in hospitalisations.
The minutes read: “With the speed of growth seen, decision makers will need to consider response measures urgently to reduce transmission if the aim is to reduce the likelihood of unsustainable pressure on the NHS”.
It comes as Professor Neil Ferguson, nicknamed ‘Prof Lockdown’, said he “expects Omicron cases to peak in January”, and added that “a lockdown in the New Year ‘can’t be ruled out’”.
Prof Ferguson spoke on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme and said: “Clearly, if the consensus is it is highly likely that the NHS is going to be overwhelmed, then it will be for the Government to decide what he wants to do about that, but it’s a difficult situation to be in, of course.”
Pushed on whether lockdowns might be possible, he said: “It certainly might be possible at the current time.”
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