Boris Johnson (pictured in front of the Downing Street tree) today refused to rule out tougher Covid curbs at Christmas

Boris Johnson (pictured standing in front the Downing Street tree), today denied that there would be any tougher Covid restrictions at Christmas.

Boris Johnson refused today to exclude tougher Covid limits at Christmas. He simply said that this year’s festive season will be better than the previous one.

When asked by the PM if he believed that the Omicron variant’s alarming spread would not need to be restricted, he dodged.

He said that this Christmas would be a lot better than the last. By December 18, the tighter rules regarding isolation and masks will be reviewed. This means that some people may not realize what their limits are until just one week before Christmas Day. 

Whitehall sources suggest that there are little chances of restrictions being lifted before the new year, while scientists assess the severity of the threat.   

There are warnings today that the incoming Omicron wave could be as bad or worse for the NHS than the second coronavirus peak last winter even if the super-mutant variant is weaker than its predecessors.

The highly evolved variant, which is a combination of increased infectiousness, vaccine resistance, and antibody escape has been shown to be three-and-a half times more likely that Delta. This according to real world data

Only 246 Omicron cases have been confirmed so far in the UK, however, Professor Paul Hunter of the University of East Anglia, who is an epidemiologist, believes there may be more than 1,000.

Dr Hunter indicated that it would be the predominant variant “probably within the next few weeks or even a month”, judging by the speed it has outpaced Delta at the South African epicentre.

In total, there are 46,000 Covid cases on average each day in the UK and data from the Covid Genomics UK Consortium (COG-UK) suggests the new strain is already behind around one in 66 of them, or 1.4 per cent

On average, 46,000 Covid patients are diagnosed each day in the UK. Covid Genomics UK Consortium data (COG UK) shows that around 1 in 666 cases, or 1.4%, is affected by the new strain.

Total Covid cases are rising fastest in London and the South East of England with most of the Omicron infections linked to travellers flying back into the UK

London and South East England are experiencing the highest number of Total Covid cases. Most Omicron infections in these areas can be attributed to returning travellers who have flown into the UK.

Johnson was asked by the media this morning if the UK government had been too slow in requiring that all UK-bound travelers undergo pre-departure testing.

He said, “No, I believe what we are doing is responding the pandemic.”

“We took decisive steps to eradicate Omicron as the first nation in the world. We automatically added 10 countries to our red list. Then we stated that any person coming from Omicron would be required to stay in quarantine for at least a few days.

“We are now taking further measures and tightening these controls as we witness Omicron spreading around the globe.

I don’t believe that we should alter the general guidance and advice about Omicron within this country. It is still unknown how deadly it really is and what effect it will have on deaths and hospitalisations.   

To slow down the spread of Omicron variant, emergency regulations were reintroduced last week. Mandatory masks will be required until December 21.

The December 18th deadline may be too late to make a final decision about whether or not they should be extended.

Whitehall sources indicated that it is likely that the use of masks will continue for three more weeks in order to provide scientists with time to study Omicron’s threat.

Others restrictions like travel checks and mandatory quarantine of ten days for Omicron cases in close proximity are being extended.

Johnson seems to want to keep his distance from the government’s plan B, at least until next year. 

The contingency plan includes the purchase of vaccination passports as well as millions being ordered to work remotely. 

Yesterday, Dominic Raab, Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, urged citizens to continue with plans for Christmas. He said it would be “a wonderful Christmas”. 

Whitehall sources stated that we have not yet reached Plan B. It is hoped that Christmas can be more ordinary than it was last year.

“That all depends on what data is available about the new variant. The hope is for things to stay the way they are now, at least for the next two weeks. 

Raab encouraged people to have their booster jabs. He said it was the best way to avoid further restrictions.

However, he stated that the ministers were not interested in following Germany’s lead and making mandatory vaccinations. 

He also rejected the idea of limiting medical care for unvaccinated people, in spite of warnings from medical professionals that they are outnumbering other essential care. 

The Sunday Times was told by Nicki Credland (chairman of the British Association of Critical Care Nurses) that all nurses know they must provide non-judgmental healthcare.

“But we have found it difficult to give care to those who chose not to receive vaccines. This has an adverse effect on the health of other patients.

“We’re still humans and still feel angry about things we don’t like.”

She spoke out after statistics revealed that over 90% of Covid patients in need of the most advanced care had not been immunized. Doctors warn that not all transplant surgeries are going ahead, and vital cancer operations may be delayed.

Times Radio’s Mr Raab stated that he would not accept any suggestion suggesting we might deny people access to essential services if they haven’t had a jab.