ANOTHER Covid lockdown has NOT been ruled out as a last resort to tackle Omicron – but Sajid Javid insisted we must “learn to live” with Covid.
Formally announcing the latest restrictions to MPs, the Health Secretary was grilled if we should expect a further winter squeeze.
Tory MP Richard Drax asked if the minister could rule out a return to the full-blown lockdowns that shut down Britain three times during the pandemic.
Dodging the question Mr Javid said: “No one wants to see those kind of measures.
“Covid is with us to stay and we need to learn to live with it and the best way we can do that is with the primary form of defence the vaccination programme.
“We’re absolutely right to put the booster programme on steroids because that will really help us.”
Ministers have long hinted that a mutation that evades our crop of vaccines could force them to smash the panic button of another lockdown.
However the government is stressing that Brits should not be ditching Christmas plans and hope to ease the restrictions in three weeks.
Speaking in the Commons this afternoon Mr Javid said that “we won’t keep measures place for a day longer than is necessary.”
The Health Sec said the best way to avoid future curbs was to be vigilant and sign up for booster jabs, which were extended to all over-18s today.
🔵 Read our Omicron variant live blog for the latest news
He said: “Our nation has come so far down our road of recovery, but we always knew that there’d be bumps in the road. But this is not a time to waver.
“It’s a time to be vigilant and to think about what each and every one of us can do to slow the spread of this new variant.
“Getting a jab when the time comes, following the rules that we’ve put in place and getting rapid, regular tests.
“If we all come together once again, then we can keep this virus at bay and protect the progress that we have made.”
The former head of the government’s vaccine taskforce was optimistic our jabs would beat back Omicron, of which 11 cases have now been discovered in the UK.
Clive Dix told the BBC: “All the data says that even the Delta variant, the main one that’s circulating at the moment, we don’t get serious illness, and we don’t get as many people dying.
“It is working – which is the most important thing. It’s close to impossible that the vaccines won’t work against it.”
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