As fears continue to grow about the impending winter wave, Britain’s Covid-19 infection rates have dropped by 11% in a week.

Department of Health bosses reported an additional 39,962 cases this morning, a decrease of the 45,140 reported last Saturday.

However the number of people dying from the virus has risen, with 72 deaths reported today compared to 57 on October 17 –  a rise of 26 per cent.    

These figures are part of the ongoing vaccination effort in Britain. A total of 45 542,207 people have received both doses.

Earlier today Rishi Sunak insisted there was no need to move to Plan B to cut Covid cases – after health chiefs discussed whether there needed to be an ‘immediate rollout’ of tougher measures to combat a surge in cases.

The Chancellor said that the data did not show that mandatory Covid passports were required and that it was possible to bring back working from home.   

After it was reported that the UK Health Security Agency, (UKHSA), contacted local authorities Friday to ask their support for the ‘immediate rolling out of the winter plan – plan B’, his comments to Andrew Marr on BBC Radio 4.

An ‘official – sensitive’ document seen by the Observer sought opinions from the leaders and chief executives of councils across England to be fed to the Cabinet Office before then end of the day.

Mr Sunak stated today that “the data does not suggest that we should immediately move to Plan B.”  

Yesterday a Government scientific adviser said he was ‘very fearful’ there will be another ‘lockdown Christmas’.

Professor Peter Openshaw, a member in the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Groups CO-CIN and SAGE subgroup CO-CIN said that current death rates and case numbers were unacceptable.  

SAGE scientists argued that it was highly unlikely that the NHS would be infected by the virus this winter, even if there were no restrictions.

The group for England had predicted that the combination vaccine-acquired immunity with natural protection would be sufficient to keep hospital rates down from the second wave. 

It happened as Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, stated that new cases could reach 100,000 each day. Downing Street however insisted that there was still enough capacity in NHS and that Plan B would only go into effect if it was under’significant pressure. 

It was revealed that Brits may need three Covid vaccines to travel next summer, but those under 50 are unlikely to get a booster until after Christmas.

Gillian Keegan (53) is the care minister. She said that the current vaccine passport system would need to evolve. That could mean that you will need three jabs in order to fly off.

An anonymous source from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said that boosters for people younger than 50 years old would most likely be given ‘well after Christmas.

A member of JCVI said that the committee would not extend the booster distribution to other groups of people until it had made more tangible progress with those who are eligible for the current vaccine.

Professor Openshaw, Imperial College London, said to BBC Breakfast, “I’m very scared that we will have another lockdown Christmas. If we don’t take action soon, I’m very worried.”

“We know that the best time to take action with public health measures is now. There is no point in waiting.

“If you delay, you should take more severe actions later. If you want to control things, it is essential that you respond quickly.

Rishi Sunak insisted there was no need to move to Plan B to cut Covid cases today

Rishi Sunak insisted that there was no need for Plan B to cut Covid cases right now

Modelling by SAGE predicted that the combination of vaccine-acquired immunity and natural protection would be enough to keep hospital rates below levels seen in the second wave. Even in the most pessimistic scenarios, the group estimated that daily Covid hospital admissions would not rise above 1,500. More optimistic models had them peaking at below 1,000 in winter. The above charts are based on modelling by Warwick University and look at how quickly people go back to pre-pandemic social contacts. It was based on the booster doses given 'sustained' immunity

SAGE models predicted that the combination vaccination-acquired immunity, natural protection would suffice to keep hospital rates below the second wave. Even in the most pessimistic scenarios of the group, they estimated that daily Covid hospital visits would not rise above 1,500. They would be below 1,000 in winter, according to more optimistic models. These charts were based on Warwick University modeling and show how quickly people return to pre-pandemic social contacts. It was based upon booster doses that conferred’sustained immunity’.

Other SAGE modelling took into account 'repeated' waning from booster doses, and projected that hospital admissions could breach levels seen during the second wave in January under the worst-case projections

Other SAGE modelling also took into consideration’repeated’ waning from booster dosing and projected that hospitalizations could exceed levels seen in January’s second wave.

Only 4.5million (green) of the 9.3million eligible English citizens have received the crucial third dose. Ministers have urged people to come forward to get their inoculations.

“We all want a wonderful Christmas as a family where we can all get together again.

Boris Johnson insists that there is “absolutely nothing” to indicate that there will be another lockdown in this winter 

Boris Johnson today stated that there is “absolutely nothing” to indicate that there will be another winter lockdown. 

As he was quizzed about rising coronavirus cases, the Prime Minister stated that a national shutdown was not in the cards. 

His comments were made after Tory MPs, hospitality chiefs, and other leaders urged the PM resist the calls of health bosses for the Government’s Covid-19 Plan B. 

Conservative MPs worry that the fallback strategy of telling people not to work from home and for them to wear face masks will lead to another lockdown.   

They insist that there should not be any return to draconian curbs and claim that the Government mustn’t be ‘bullied” by health leaders into imposing new rules.

Hospitality bosses warned against imposing restrictions, telling PM that many bars, restaurants, and pubs would ‘go the wall’. 

The hospitality industry is concerned that even light touch restrictions could hit bookings and put ‘Christmas at risk’.

The Government has maintained that the triggering of Plan B is not imminent. Instead, the Government wants to concentrate on the rollout of vaccine booster shots. 

But ministers struck an ominous tone this morning as they said the blueprint is ‘there for a reason’.

‘If that’s what we want, we need to get these measures in place now in order to get transmission rates right down so that we can actually get together and see one another over Christmas.’

Professor Openshaw stated that it is unacceptable to allow this to continue at the moment. He added: ‘I believe the hospitals in many areas of the country are barely dealing actually.

“Talking to people at the front lines, I believe it’s just too costly to continue at this pace.

“It’s unacceptable to see the number deaths we have at the moment.

“At one stage last Wednesday there were 180 dead in one day. This is a lot of deaths. We seem to be conditioned to believe that there will be many, many deaths from Covid. This is not true.

“We must slow down transmission and really redouble effort to get everyone vaccinated, and all the boosters out. Then we can open up again.

Professor Openshaw was questioned about his thoughts on people who are concerned about how they can stop the spread if the Government does not reintroduce the measures.

He said to the program: “I think you should take matters into your own hands. Do not wait for the Government to make policy.

“I’m very, very reluctant to go into crowded areas because I know that approximately one in 60 people living in crowded spaces will have the virus. Cycle to work, if possible, and don’t use public transport.

‘I believe you should do everything in your power to reduce transmission. Do not wait for the Government’s policy to change.

“The sooner we all act, then the faster we can reduce this transmission rate and the better the chance of having a Christmas together with our families.” 

The World Health Organisation warned that the vaccine alone would not be sufficient to eradicate the pandemic.

Spokesperson Margaret Harris stated to Times Radio, “The problem is focusing only on one thing, the vaccine won’t get us out of this.”

“We really need to take other measures.

‘We need to be serious about avoiding crowding. It is important to consider wearing masks indoors.

According to scientists, the Government must ensure Plan B restrictions against coronavirus can ‘rapidly’ deployed if necessary.

Experts from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, (Sage) stated that a second large spike in infections, like January, was ‘increasingly impossible’. The experts had predicted a series broader, flatter peaks in the virus’ spread.