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Coronavirus: PM to unveil Covid winter plan for England

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2 days ago

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image source, Reuters

Boris Johnson will announce his Covid winter plan for England on Tuesday, including emergency measures that would be implemented should the NHS risk being overwhelmed.

The Prime Minister will present plans for the booster shots after the UK vaccine advisory body unveils guidance on Monday.

Authorities are considering measures that may be necessary if the number of cases increases sharply.

But government sources said further lockdowns are not being considered.

Mr Johnson’s Covid plan is expected to follow an announcement by the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunization (JCVI) about who should receive booster shots.

The JCVI said last week that a third dose of the vaccine should be offered to people over 12 with severely weakened immune systems, representing up to half a million people in the UK.

It came after research showing that about 40% of people with weakened immune systems had a poor antibody response and potentially less protection, after two doses of the vaccine.

The advisory means the most vulnerable – less than 1% of the population – will be offered a third dose, rather than anyone on the original list of clinically extremely vulnerable people.

JCVI has yet to announce whether a separate recall program is needed and who would be eligible.

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A government source pointed out that the Covid winter plan will focus on how the company plans to continue to “live with” the virus throughout the winter and promote Covid and flu shots.

The Times reports that mandatory face coverings and working from home will be reinstated in the event of a winter spike in infections.

Ministers are increasingly concerned that the NHS will be strained if Covid infections rise alongside a bad flu season, the newspaper said.

Sources told The Times that the government’s science advisory group for emergencies (Sage) had devised a series of options to limit the spread of Covid-19 without resorting to lockdowns.

The legal requirement to wear a face covering ended on July 19, but people were advised to continue wearing them in crowded indoor spaces.

PM to unveil Covid winter plan for England
PM to unveil Covid winter plan for England

The UK reported an additional 29,547 new infections on Saturday, alongside 156 more deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test.

Meanwhile, 89% of the population over the age of 16 received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while nearly 81% received both doses.

The coronavirus law – emergency legislation introduced to give the government new powers to fight the coronavirus – is also coming to its semi-annual review by lawmakers.

Mr Johnson is set to repeal regulations in England that are no longer needed, including powers to shut down parts of the economy, such as businesses, or the imposition of restrictions on events and gatherings .

Regulations that allow temporary closure or restriction of access to schools, colleges and daycares will also be repealed; those that extend deadlines for urgent warrants; and powers to detain contagious persons.

However, certain measures of the law will be retained, in particular the obligation to self-isolate in the event of a positive PCR test; pay sickness benefits to isolated people from the first day rather than the seventh day; and the power to keep schools open if they close against government directives.

Mr Johnson said: ‘Thanks to the efforts of the public, the NHS and our phenomenal immunization program, we have reached step four on our roadmap and life has returned to a sense of normalcy.

“These extraordinary times have required necessary but intrusive measures. But I am determined to get rid of all the powers that we no longer need because of our vaccine defenses. “

The Prime Minister is expected to hold a press conference in Downing Street next week to outline the next steps in the government’s response to the pandemic.

PM to unveil Covid winter plan for England

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  • Coronavirus containment measures
  • Coronavirus pandemic

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  • Vaccine protection still strong – creator of Oxford jab

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