Boris Johnson has confirmed he will not introduce any further COVID restrictions in England before Christmas, but warned that the situation remains “finely balanced” ahead of the New Year.
In a video posted on social media and released by Downing Street, the prime minister said “people can go ahead with their Christmas plans” but urges caution and suggests people should take a test before meeting elderly relatives.
“What I can say tonight is that naturally we can’t rule out any further measures after Christmas, and we’re going to keep a constant eye on the data – we will do whatever it takes to protect public health,” Mr Johnson said.
“But, in view of the continuing uncertainty about several things – the severity of Omicron, uncertainty about the hospitalisation rates or the impact of the vaccine rollout and the boosters – we don’t think today that there is enough evidence to justify any tougher measures before Christmas.
“We continue to monitor Omicron very closely and if the situation deteriorates we will be ready to take action if needed.”