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HomeAll ArticlesI cannot rule out further Covid restrictions before Christmas: Dominic Raab

I cannot rule out further Covid restrictions before Christmas: Dominic Raab

Dominic Raab has said he cannot make any “hard, fast guarantees” that more restrictions will not be needed ahead of Christmas Day.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the data is “always under review” but claimed the country is in a “better position to enjoy Christmas with loved ones” this year.

But he was unable to offer any guarantees as he advised people to be “careful and cautious” in the coming days.

Amid reports ministers have pushed back against calls from scientific advisers for new measures to tackle the Omicron variant before Christmas, Mr Raab offered his support for the Government’s approach while noting all Cabinet ministers ask questions about the advice received.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Confirmed cases of the faster-spreading strain have risen by more than 12,000 in the UK – and London’s cases alone topped 10,000, according to the latest data on Sunday.

But about one third of the Cabinet are said to be reluctant to support new restrictions in the coming days, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak among them, according to The Times.

The paper reported that 10 ministers are resisting a call by the Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance at the weekend for new restrictions to be brought in as soon as possible to prevent the health service being overwhelmed.

Conservative MPs are expected to receive a briefing from Sir Patrick on Monday afternoon.

Mr Johnson has been presented with three options to tackle the spread of the virus, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The paper reported that they range from guidance asking people to limit indoor contacts, to rules on household mixing, social distancing and a curfew on pubs and restaurants and, thirdly, a full lockdown.

Booster appointments will be available on Christmas Day (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Booster appointments will be available on Christmas Day (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

The Telegraph quoted one unnamed Cabinet minister as saying data presented by Sir Patrick and England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty on Saturday was “just trashed by the Cabinet”.

The source said “guidelines, rather than restrictions, are entirely possible”.

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