Boris Johnson has mentioned the UK is making “nice progress” in tackling Omicron – however warned the variant stays “extremely contagious”.
Talking following a pharmacy go to, the prime minister mentioned 36 million folks have now acquired the booster jab and are extra shielded from Omicron, however acknowledged that the variety of folks in hospital with COVID is “massively up” and “rising”.
Mr Johnson additionally confirmed that ministers are contemplating decreasing the self-isolation interval for totally vaccination individuals who check optimistic for the virus.
Calls to shorten isolation interval
His feedback come because the PM faces rising strain from a few of his personal Conservative MPs to scale back the isolation interval to 5 days from the present seven.
Requested if adjustments may very well be made to each the federal government’s isolation and lateral move testing insurance policies within the coming weeks, he reiterated his name for individuals who haven’t already achieved so to “be a part of the motion” and get a vaccination.
“We’re making nice progress – the quantity of people that have been boosted, as I say, is 36 million, 90% of the over 50s have been achieved – however there are nonetheless thousands and thousands who have to do it,” he mentioned.
The prime minister additionally famous that “Omicron remains to be on the market and is extremely harmful”.
Pressed on whether or not the isolation interval needs to be minimize, Mr Johnson added: “The factor to do is to have a look at the science. We’re taking a look at that, and we are going to act based on the science.”
Reviews lateral move checks will quickly now not be free
The prime minister mentioned the federal government will proceed to make lateral flows accessible “for so long as is critical”.
Earlier on Monday, Michael Gove refused to disclaim that free lateral move checks may very well be phased out within the coming weeks, lower than 24 hours after one other minister informed Sky Information the federal government would “completely not” cost for them.
The housing secretary informed Kay Burley that lateral move checks will probably be free for “so long as we want them”, however didn’t straight reply whether or not they may very well be phased out within the coming weeks.
Yesterday, Training Secretary Nadhim Zahawi informed Sky Information’ Trevor Phillips on Sunday that the federal government has no plans to reduce free lateral move checks to excessive threat settings.
Mr Zahawi dismissed a report in The Sunday Instances, saying he did “not recognise” the story that the checks may very well be restricted to care properties, hospitals and colleges, and folks with signs, “inside weeks”.
PM reiterates booster name
The prime minister was additionally requested by broadcasters about obligatory jabs for NHS employees.
“Properly, let me simply say that I discussed the 18,000 folks with COVID at present in hospital. That, as you already know – as all people within the nation is aware of – is massively up and the numbers are rising,” he mentioned.
The PM mentioned “maybe 30% or extra” of these 18,000 have “contracted COVID in hospital”.
He continued: “Now, to me, that’s simply not acceptable. You should not go into hospital after which contract COVID. So it is vitally vital that our NHS workers needs to be correctly protected, needs to be correctly vaccinated – and I definitely encourage that.”
It comes after Sky Information filmed the well being secretary being straight challenged by an unvaccinated ICU physician in regards to the soon-to-be authorized requirement for NHS employees to get jabbed.
PM dodges events query
The prime minister dodged a query on whether or not he attended a celebration in Downing Road on 20 Might 2020 throughout lockdown.
Requested if he and his spouse Carrie attended, Mr Johnson mentioned: “All that, as you already know, is the topic of a correct investigation by Sue Grey.”
Pressed on whether or not he had been interviewed by Ms Grey, he mentioned: “All that could be a topic for investigation by Sue Grey.”
Senior civil servant Sue Grey is investigating the 20 Might occasion as a part of her inquiry into quite a few allegations of rule-breaking occasions being held in Quantity 10 throughout the pandemic.