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21st Dec 2021

What could Christmas restrictions look like amid Omicron surge?

Charlie Herbert

Uncertainty remains over whether restrictions will be brought in before the end of the year

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly considering bringing back further covid-19 restrictions after Christmas as the Omicron variant continues to rip through the United Kingdom.

In the last few days, the country has recorded unprecedented numbers of cases and experts and scientists are urging the government to take action to control the virus and protect the NHS.

According to reports, the prime minister is set to reintroduce some lockdown restrictions after Christmas and on Sunday Heath Secretary Sajid Javid refused to rule out further restrictions before the end of the year.

It comes as the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) predicts that the hospital admission rates could hit a peak of at least 3,000 people a day if more measures aren’t introduced.

If more restrictions are put in place, it seems likely that these will be the same as those seen at step two of the roadmap out of lockdown we saw earlier this year.

This would see household mixing only be permitted outdoors, with a maximum of six people or two households. Hospitality venues such as pubs and restaurants would also only be allowed to serve people outdoors and places such as nightclubs would be forced to close.

Schools would remain open as usual though and so would shops and hairdressers.

It is not clear what step two restrictions would mean for crowds at sporting events but Scotland has announced crowd limits of 500 whilst Wales has announced that all sporting event will be played behind closed doors.

An announcement from the government is expected at some point in the coming days in regards to whether any new restrictions will be put in place.

The Times reports that no new restrictions will be implemented for Christmas Day and Boxing Day though.

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