Today, scientists were critical of Boris Johnson’s refusal to cancel New Years Eve in England and to keep his cool.

The Prime Minister would prefer to have guidance that encourages people to lessen socializing, and not impose legal binding limits like they did in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland yesterday.

George Eustice Environment Secretary said today that while the Government keeps the Covid hospital admissions level under “very close scrutiny”, he refused to exclude any additional restrictions for the New Year.

However, experts have voiced concern at the decision to allow nightclubs open and hospitality venues remain open during New Year festivities. They claim it “speaks volumes” about No10’s approach.

Professor Danny Altmann from Imperial College London was an immunologist and said that this move seemed to demonstrate the ‘greatest difference between expert clinical/scientific advise and legislation.

University of Brighton’s Dr Sarah Pitt, a virologist, said that having different rules in England would just result in people crossing the border from Wales or Scotland to have New Year’s Eve and then returning to their home countries to pick up the virus.

Tory MPs supported Johnson’s refusal to issue tougher sanctions. They argued that it was better to trust the “good sense” of British citizens.

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said that hospital trusts have not reported the large surge in patients who required critical care or ventilators last winter after the advent of the Alpha variant. 

Official coronavirus statistics appeared to justify the Government’s reluctance to resort to economically-crippling curbs, with the number of cases recorded in England having fallen every day since Christmas. 

The number of confirmed infections yesterday was only 7 per cent higher than the previous week, at 98,515. These figures, however, were specific to England and didn’t reflect Britain’s overall situation. 

Tory MP Mark Francois has praised Boris Johnson's decision to hold his nerve and go it alone by not cancelling New Year's Eve

Professor Danny Altmann, an immunologist at Imperial College London, said the move seems to show the 'greatest divergence between expert clinical/scientific advice and legislation'

Tory MP Mark Francois (left) has praised Boris Johnson’s decision to hold his nerve and go it alone by not cancelling New Year’s Eve. Experts, including Professor Danny Altmann (left), criticized the decision as a ‘greatest difference between expert clinical/scientific guidance and legislation.

UK Government statistics show how the number of Covid tests being conducted has reached 1.5m a day, with the number of swabs carried out having increased massively since Omicron first emerged

UK Government Statistics show that 1.5m Covid test are being performed per day. However, the amount of Covid swabs done has increased tremendously since Omicron’s inception.

UK workers in crisis: Omicron spreading threatens public services 

Omicron left the public sector in a “perilous” state, according to unions. Recycling centres were forced to close down and bin collection in London was under threat. Trains and flights were also cancelled.

Lewisham council stated that the main reuse and recycling center will remain closed until Wednesday. Black bin collections would also be taken into consideration in case there are delays with recycling collection. 

According to the Rail Delivery Group, yesterday’s cancellation rate was 6.8% nationwide, which is compared to an average of 2.9% per year. 

Warwickshire trains have been suspended indefinitely, which has affected services between Leamington Spa (Nuneaton) and Coventry.

FlightAware track data shows that over 2,200 international flights were cancelled yesterday. Heathrow cancelled 60 flights on Sunday. 

Gatwick stated that it only had three cancellations of 215 flights Sunday and none yesterday.

According to local government officials, nationwide staff shortages exist in the areas of waste collection as well as social services and child services. 

Jon Richard, the assistant general secretary of Unison, the public services union, told the Guardian: ‘Key health, council, care and police services have so many staff off that lots are worried they will not be able to keep going.

“That is why additional measures to stop virus spread will be of paramount importance over the next weeks. Services have had to make do with a small staff over the years. Omicron now has a solution, leaving the services in an extremely dangerous state.

Concerns were also raised over the reopening of schools following the Christmas break. Paul Whiteman of National Association of Head Teachers warns that pupils may be sent home if they don’t have enough teaching staff.

Geoff Barton was the General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders. He stated to the BBC that the absences at schools had reached an ‘unsustainable’ level, and some schools saw up to 25% of their staff absent in the week prior to Christmas.

“We do not know how the next week will turn out.” While we’re not predicting the worst, we believe it is important to maintain a realistic perspective.

Although Mr Eustice admitted that Omicron’s infection rate was increasing, he said it wasn’t causing the same number of hospital admissions like previous waves.

He stated that there was early evidence that South Africa has seen a decrease in the amount of hospitalizations. Also, the time they spend in hospital (if any) is lower than the previous variations.

“At this time, we do not believe that any additional interventions are warranted beyond the ones we’ve already made.”

“But we must keep this under close scrutiny, as if we start to notice a significant increase in hospitalisations we will need to take further action.”

However, scientists cautioned that restrictions imposed later than New Years Eve might be considered too late.

Professor Altmann told The Guardian: ‘It does feel hard that, at a time when we need to all pull together to maximise all possible mitigations, we seem to have our greatest divergence between expert clinical/scientific advice and legislation.’

Professor Simon Clarke, a University of Reading cell microbiologist, warned that official data doesn’t take into consideration the situation in Britain between Christmas Eve & Boxing Day.

He suggested the move was based on incomplete data and it would only become clear how the virus was moving through the population in another week or so — after New Year’s Eve has taken place.

Dr Clarke explained that although nobody would prefer to live in tighter conditions, the public needs to understand that, if there is a serious problem with hospitalisations or mass sickness, then it will be more severe than if authorities had taken action earlier.

Dr Pitt stated that it is not sensible for the UK to have separate Covid restrictions as partygoers from other countries will only go to England to celebrate New Year’s Eve and then return home. 

She told LBC Radio: ‘If people can’t go to a New Year’s Eve party in Wales or Scotland, they’ll just tip over the borders into England, won’t they, thus potentially taking the virus and spreading it… and then taking it back home. 

“It makes sense to use one set of precautions across all of our country, and it would make sense for us to take some steps to prevent the spread of this virus.” 

Dr. Pitt called for “a few steps” to stop the Omicron variant spreading. Professor of microbiology, Pitt stated that the “seriously infectious virus” is making some people sick and some are already dying. 

LBC Radio interviewer, She said that she knew of more Covid-infected people than any other pandemic. 

‘So although there is a balance between the economy and health, they’re not mutually exclusive – it’s not one or the other. 

“We have to treat the virus seriously. I don’t mean full lockdowns. I am talking about some measures to stop this virus spreading. 

The Doctors’ Association, Dr David Nicholls stated that staff shortages in the next weeks will be more of a strain than patients being admitted to the NHS.

Sky News was informed by him that staffing is the biggest concern at present and they are experiencing an increase in staff infections.

‘And there are simple measures that could be done — we’ve written to the UK Health Security Agency asking for an upgrade on their outdated PPE to provide FP3 masks, which offer better protection than is currently available. 

“Given staff sickness rates we all worry about how we will manage as we enter the New Year.” It is stressing out staff from all sectors, doctors and nurses alike.

He added: “When you talk with your colleagues in critical care they tell you that there is less staff now than they did last year.” 

When asked if Boris Johnson took into consideration shortages in his decision-making, Johnson replied: “No. It’s fascinating to see how different areas of the UK do things. They seem to be looking at exact the same data.

“It speaks volumes,” 

And members of Independent SAGE — a group of scientists who have consistently called for tougher curbs throughout the pandemic — claimed shutting down hospitality venues and imposing legal sanctions on socialising ‘are not restrictions’.

According to Dr Zubaida Hque (whose family history is in inequality and ethnicity), emergency Covid public safety measures do not restrict, but provide protections.

Julia Patterson, founder of EveryDoctorUK, said that restrictions need to be defined differently.

Sky News spoke to her: “We must stop calling public-health measures “restrictions.” These measures are there to help the most vulnerable members of society. They matter as much as everyone else. 

London’s Covid Hospitalization Rate soared to 62% during the week prior Christmas

Official data shows that Omicron’s fast spread in London already puts pressure on NHS hospitals.

The city’s Covid hospitalisation rate — which includes patients who are ill with the virus and need medical care as well as ones who incidentally tested positive — rose by 62 per cent in a week in the final seven-day spell ahead of Christmas. 

London had been at the edge of 400 admissions per night before Christmas. This was the trigger figure for New England-wide restrictions.

Although it is only a small fraction of what was seen in the second wave’s devastating waves, doctors fear that the infection rate will continue to rise due to the delay between the moment people get infected and become severely ill.

Daily case numbers have yet to slow down in the city, and over-60s – who are most vulnerable to the virus – are also seeing an uptick. 

“It’s clear that everyone wants to go on a Christmas vacation, and people find it difficult to consider these restrictions, which are known as restrictions.

“But we must frame them in a different way and consider them public health measures, which will protect individuals.

The Prime Minister was supported by Tory MPs, who argued that it showed the government’s faith in the people to make decisions regarding personal safety.

GB News’ Mark Francois said that it was remarkable to see how a backbench revolt of 101 MPs can focus minds. We can’t be too proud, but this was the right decision. Bravo Prime Minister. 

‘We are asking people to use their common sense — we’re being conservatives. We trust in the British people’s good judgment.

Brendan Clarke Smith added that it was about people trusting each other to make decisions for their lives, and use common sense.

Others have also supported this move. They said that the data showed the public had already demonstrated responsibility by their response to case levels.

Professor Sir John Bell, regius university professor of medicine, at Oxford University said that the public was ‘pretty accountable’ for its reaction to the Omicron variation.

BBC Radio 4 Today’s: “The health minister took advice and has looked into the data. He seems to have made a good judgment about where the country should be in the coming days. 

“There is a lot of awareness that there are many people in this situation. People in England, and especially the UK have been very responsible about trying to avoid going out, as well as spending too much time exposed to the virus. 

You can’t help but notice the quiet streets and people walking along them. This will likely continue over the coming week, as we watch how it evolves. 

Sir John claimed that since the implementation of the vaccination program, there have been no increases in the number of serious illness or death due to the disease. 

He said: ‘The horrific scenes that we saw a year ago — intensive care units being full, lots of people dying prematurely — that is now history in my view and I think we should reassured that that’s likely to continue.’

Mister Hopson, NHS Providers’ boss, said that admittances were rising but not rapidly.

He said that many patients who tested positive for Covid at hospitals were admitted because they had other medical reasons, but not for the disease.

Hopson stated that trusts do not currently report large numbers of Covid-type patients who require critical care.