Boris Johnson ‘won’t hesitate to act’ to impose MORE Covid restrictions – but family Christmases should be safe for now


BORIS Johnson “won’t hesitate to act” if more Covid restrictions are needed before Christmas, a minister said today.

Health minister Gillian Keegan insisted the Government is “not intending” to bring in new curbs before December 25.

Health minister Gillian Keegan said there are no plans for more restrictions

But she admitted the severity of measures is “always kept under review” and they could be cranked up if required.

Ms Keegan said she’s hopeful the lightning rollout of boosters combined with Plan B will avoid the need for more restrictions.

And she added we could be “through the other side” of the Omicron crisis “quite quickly” when protection from third shot kicks in.

She said: “We’re not intending to make any more restrictions. But of course the PM said if we need to act, he won’t hesitate to act

“And if that means recalling Parliament then that’s what we have to do.”

“Obviously things are always kept under review but there isn’t a plan to have a Plan C or bring in further restrictions.”

Pressed on the prospect of schools closing in January, she added: “It’s fully the intention to keep schools open.”

Any move to tighten the current restrictions would have to be put to a vote of rebellious Tory MPs.

More than 100 backbenchers opposed the introduction of vaccine passports in a historic Commons mutiny.

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And the weakened PM would face the prospect of having to once more rely on Labour support for any new curbs.

But the health minister also said Brits should choose between going to parties or spending Christmas with their family.

She warned the spread of Omicron means those who head out to pubs and clubs may end up having to isolate on December 25.

Ms Keegan said: “Make a sensible choice for yourself. If you’re going to go to a party, take a test.

“If there’s lots of people there you don’t know, if that’s your priority, fine.

“If you if your priority is to make it through to Christmas Day with your family then take a different approach.”

She added: “If you want to have a family Christmas, be cautious otherwise you could end up testing positive and having to isolate. That’s the message.”

Support plea

Her remarks will further anger pub and restaurant bosses who have seen a devastating flood of cancellations due to Omicron.

They’re calling for new financial support from Rishi Sunak to help many businesses being driven to the wall.

Torsten Bell, from the Resolution Foundation, said: “If you’re telling people to avoid hospitality it doesn’t matter if you’re not banning them.

“Restaurants, pubs, bars are going to get stuffed. They’ll lose customers and workers will lose their jobs.”

Craig Beaumont of the Federation of Small Businesses added: “The government hasn’t explicitly said to avoid certain settings however it’s hard to see last night’s advice as far off it.

“And the impact is the same. Hospitality venues, normally facing their golden month with 25 percent of annual takings, are now sat half-empty and wondering what to do about staff.”

Asked about the possibility of extra support, Ms Keegan said the Chancellor “keeps everything under review” and that “the Treasury are always working on plans”.