Following previous lockdowns which resulted in a reduction of the number of people allowed to marry, give birth and have funerals, Covid-19 regulations will no longer apply.
All scenarios that the government has created to address the Omicron threat include exemptions for certain life events.
It comes ahead of crunch talks between Boris Johnson and government scientists today to discuss Covid restrictions for the New Year.
Downing Street is understood to be leaning towards new guidance urging people in England to be careful and limit contacts – rather than imposing new legally binding restrictions.
This could all change, however, if the data regarding hospitalisations indicates that there could be a surge in coronavirus-related infections to overwhelm the NHS.
After previous Covid-19 lockdowns that restricted numbers, weddings, funerals, and other events were blamed for creating undue stress, future Covid-19 restrictions will not apply to them.
Weddings, births and funerals will be excepted from any future Covid-19 restrictions with exemptions for life events part of all scenarios that have been drawn up by the government to deal with the threat of Omicron (pictured, Prime Minister Boris Johnson)
It comes ahead of crunch talks between Boris Johnson and government scientists today to discuss Covid restrictions for the New Year (pictured, Chief Medical Officer for England, Chris Whitty, right, and Chief Scientific Adviser, Patrick Vallance, left, earlier this year)
The PM has considered possible restrictions over the last few days, including closing bars and restaurants indoors.
But ministers are said to be against disrupting significant life events with the restrictions, even if they opt to bring back the rule of six in indoor settings, the Times reported.
Plans to stop hospitals from forcing pregnant women to go to scans, check-ups, and give birth without the consent of their husbands are some examples.
Ministers say they are “increasingly optimist but cautiously optimistic” that England will not impose draconian locksdown rules before next year.
According to a source from the government, ‘It’s more than just that there is a gap between hospitalisations and cases. It’s also that people tend to stay longer in hospital,’ said a Times official.
It is a stark difference from previous restrictions, under which the number of people allowed at weddings and funerals was capped – and saw the Queen attend Prince Philip’s funeral alone in April.
This markedly differs from the previous restrictions which limited who was allowed to attend weddings and funerals. In April, the Queen alone attended the funeral of Prince Philip.
Johnson has so far resisted the calls for him to take social mixing restrictions as far as Scotland and Wales. Similar restrictions have also been imposed in many European countries – but not yet in England.
To discuss the latest data, the Prime Minister will today meet with Professor Chris Whitty (chief medical officer) and Sir Patrick Vallance (chief scientific adviser).
Cabinet would be required to approve any legally binding restrictions, which would then need to get rubber stamped by MPs.
But last night sources said the recall of Parliament was looking less likely than it had before Christmas – an indication that Downing Street is leaning away from stricter curbs.
A simple directive urging individuals to restrict their contact would suffice without the need for Parliamentary approval or support from the Cabinet.