British government launches “plan B” against Omicron amid a climate of mistrust

It is in a noxious atmosphere, Downing Street wiping scandals after scandals, that Boris Johnson decided, Wednesday, December 8, to trigger his “plan B”, by announcing new measures to curb the spread of the Omicron variant in England. Weakened by the “partygate”, these press revelations on Christmas celebrations organized last year in Downing Street in full confinement, the British Prime Minister announced that from Monday, December 13, the English would again have to opt for the telework ” as much as possible “. The compulsory wearing of the mask will be extended to theaters and cinemas. And, for the first time in the country, vaccine passports will also be introduced – in discos, for large gatherings. Until now, the government had not dared to take the plunge, due to strong resistance within the ranks of the Conservative Party.

“We do not yet have enough data to say that Omicron is less dangerous than the Delta variant and it is spreading at a very high rate in the country: the number of cases could double every two to three days”, Mr Johnson explained at a press conference on Wednesday evening, adding that the move to Plan B is ” reasonable and proportionate ”. In Scotland, Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon reintroduced teleworking on Tuesday, December 7. That same day, 437 cases of Omicron variants were detected in the country but “There are probably already thousands”, to warn Mr. Johnson.

” Especially among youth “

“Omicron could quickly become dominant”, Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Advisor for Downing Street, warned. “For the moment, it circulates mainly among young people, but we have seen it in previous waves, it could quickly progress in the rest of the population and this is likely to result, with a delay of two to three weeks, by a very sharp increase in hospitalizations. Hence the decision to activate plan B ”, Mr. Whitty adds. Because if the recall campaign is progressing at a good pace (21.3 million Britons had received their “booster” Wednesday), and if it has so far made it possible to contain hospitalizations, it may not be enough to contain Omicron.

Read also Very controversial Christmas parties in Downing Street

Would Boris Johnson have rushed these announcements for the sole purpose of obscuring the anger over the allegations of violations of health rules by his collaborators – or by himself? the Daily Mirror and the BBC claim that at least one Christmas party bringing together “Dozens of people” was held on December 18, 2020 in Downing Street, when gatherings of two people from different homes were banned. The Prime Minister has so far denied the existence of the holidays but outrage escalated on Tuesday when a video showing one of his spokespersons, Allegra Stratton, laughing in private about the holidays. , leaked on social networks (Mme Stratton resigned a few hours later).

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British government launches “plan B” against Omicron amid a climate of mistrust

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