Boris Johnson refused to submit to another round of restrictive measures and said last night that he is monitoring Omicron’s data hour by hour.

Downing Street officials will continue to spend the remaining four days before Christmas looking at hospital admissions figures and studying studies from all over the globe.

These data will help us decide if it is possible to enjoy New Year’s Eve together with our friends and families.

Shoppers, some wearing masks, out London this afternoon as the country gears up for Christmas. Ministers remain hopeful Omicron may be less severe than previous variants

As the nation gears up to celebrate Christmas, shoppers, many wearing masks, walked out of London today. Ministers believe Omicron could be less severe than other variants.

The Government scientists have advocated for additional curbs to keep the NHS from collapsing under Omicron patient waves, but the Prime Minster and his staff remain undecided.

The British government insists there are not enough facts to support putting Britain under a fourth lockdown with all of the economic and social consequences. 

The Government awaits more information on three critical issues, as the current situation is’very, very delicately balanced.


Omicron has a higher rate of infection than Delta. This mutant strain was only introduced to Britain a little over a month ago and has since outcompeted Delta in order to be dominant. 

The number of infections is higher than ever with 102 297 positive results last Wednesday. This marks the first daily case to exceed 100,000.

This ferocious growth at any point during the pandemic would have almost certainly been followed up with new restrictions.

But ministers remain hopeful Omicron may be less severe than previous variants – and there is some evidence that this will prove to be the case.

South Africa’s scientists have found that Omicron patients will be 29% less likely to require hospital care than their predecessors.

People queue at a Cvoid vaccination centre in London. Data from the UK Health Security Agency shows two doses are not enough to prevent infection by Omicron

People queue at a Cvoid vaccination centre in London. The UK Health Security Agency data shows that two doses do not suffice to stop Omicron infection.

An analysis of 211,000 Covid victims also revealed that half of them required intensive care, while most recovered at home in three days.

Two studies, however, have shown that Omicron has a lower risk of lung disease and severe illness.

Ravi Gupta led a group of Cambridge University researchers who discovered that Omicron infects cells deeper in the lungs more effectively than any other variations.

The University of Hong Kong also found this, and it suggests that the variant can replicate at one-tenth of Delta’s rate in the lungs. Thus, it reduces severity of illness.


Ministers insist that another lockdown will not be considered if there is a tsunami of Covid hospitalizations in the NHS, or if other health care services are threatened.

Yesterday, however, the Prime Minister stated that there was a lot of uncertainty over the crucial question of “how many Omicron people are admitted to hospital?”

Ministers were informed last week by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies that January’s daily hospital admissions will reach 3,000 without any restrictions. Sage stressed that crisis prevention requires prompt action.

However, their modeling assumes that Omicron will be no more severe than the previous versions.

If – as hoped – vaccines provide a good level of protection, a lockdown may prove unnecessary. South Africa admits have fallen to 57% from the peak, despite similar numbers.

The latest NHS data confirms that hospitalisations are stable. Weekly cases are on the rise by 61% but admissions remain stable at just 61%

Current admissions of Covid patients average 864 per day. This is down from the peak January peak of 4,200 and over 2,000 last year.

And on January 18, a record 39,254 Covid patients were in hospital beds across the UK – five times yesterday’s figure of 7,482.


Scientists and politicians agree that the UK is in an ‘excruciatingly bad mess’ without vaccines.

Omicron can be protected with existing vaccines. Boosters are a good example. There is a lot of uncertainty as to whether the increased vaccinations will be enough to eradicate the variant.

The UK Health Security Agency data shows that Omicron can only be infected with two doses.

A booster of Moderna or Pfizer increases protection by around 75% compared to the unvaccinated. 

Also, three doses of the same medication are more likely to provide greater protection from severe illness. This will help keep death and hospitalization rates down.

The strongest argument for new restrictions is vaccines.

Eighty-seven percent of the UK’s adults are now double-jabbed. This may not protect you from infection but it can help to reduce the risk of severe illness.