Christmas Will be Lockdown-Free says Prime Minister

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that he sees no evidence to suggest a Christmas lockdown is ‘on the cards’, despite rising Covid cases.

Speaking to reporters during his trip to Rome for the G20 summit, Mr Johnson once again insisted ministers are sticking with the current plan to tackle coronavirus and there is no reason to activate the government’s Plan B.

Asked if he could guarantee a good Christmas, he said: “I see no evidence whatever to think that any kind of lockdown is on the cards. We’re watching the numbers every day. Yes, it’s true that cases are high. But they do not currently constitute any reason to go to Plan B,” Mr Johnson said.

His comments follow calls from health leaders and prominent scientists for the Government to take steps to ease the growing pressures on the NHS.

Coronavirus infection levels have risen across the UK, with the most recent estimates showing the same proportion of people in England have Covid now as at the peak of the second wave.

Despite the prevalence of the virus across the UK hospital admissions and deaths remain below levels seen during January, with the vaccine rollout acknowledged as the main reason.

Moving to Plan B for England would mean the return to working at home advice and the mandatory wearing of face masks, as well as the introduction of so-called vaccine passports.

His comments come after the NHS Confederation, the British Medical Association and scientists called on the government to take steps to ease the growing pressure on the health service.