Boris Johnson has confirmed that no new restrictions will be introduced in England before Christmas day, saying that there is ‘not enough evidence’ to justify tougher rules at this stage.
The Prime Minster has addressed the nation in a video on his official social media channels.
He said that people can ‘go ahead with their Christmas plans’ but said the Government is unable to rule out introducing further measures after Christmas.
The PM warned that Omicron cases are continuing to rise at a ‘speed unlike anything we’ve seen before’ and urged people to get their boosters and exercise caution when seeing family over the festive season.
He said that there is continuing uncertainty surrounding the new variant’s impact on hospitalisation rates.
Mr Johnson said: “There is no doubt that Omicron continues to surge with a speed unlike anything we’ve seen before.
“The situation remains extremely difficult but I also recognise that people have been waiting to hear whether their Christmas plans are going to be affected.
“So 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, and we’ll do whatever it takes to protect public health.
“But in view of the continuing uncertainty about several things – the severity of Omicron, uncertainty about the hospitalisation rate or the impact of the vaccine rollout or 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.
“What this means is that people can go ahead with their Christmas plans but the situation remains finely balanced and I would urge everyone to exercise caution, to keep protecting yourselves and your loved ones, especially the vulnerable.
“And remember to keep following the guidance – wear a mask indoors when required to do so, keep fresh air circulating, and take a test before you visit elderly or vulnerable relatives.
“So if you have not done so already, then please drop everything, find a walk-in or go online and make an appointment and get boosted now.
“Thank you very much and happy Christmas.”
Featured image: Boris Johnson