As Scotland and Wales announce new Covid restrictions and the Government considers new measures for England after the 25th of December with days to go the Prime Minister has assured people that they can plan for Christmas without the threat of further changes.
New Covid restrictions have been prompted by a large increase in Covid cases in the UK prompted by colder weather and the Omicron variant. Since August there has been a steady increase in daily new cases of Covid in the UK, starting at around 30,000 per day until in early December it was at 50,000 per day. Now the spike has exceeded 90,000 cases and threatens to overwhelm the NHS.
Mercifully this spike in cases has yet to be reflected in a spike of deaths which is likely due to the protection afforded by vaccines and boosters. It’s still unclear whether Omicron is as, more or less deadly than previous variants though it does seem to spread more easily.
In Scotland all outdoor events have been limited to 500 people with indoor events limited to 200 seats or 100 standing. These restrictions will come into force on Boxing day and have lead to the cancellation of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay events.
Wales is also expected outline new restrictions today with changes to indoor socialising on the cards.
The main response to this new wave from the Government has been an increase in vaccination with many people getting their third ‘booster’ jabs. Vaccinations have increased from a daily total of around 400,000 at the start of December to over 800,000 in late December.