With predictions that the Omicron variant could be responsible for up to a million infections by the end of the year, Brits might soon be imposed further restrictions to fight off the virus.
What could Plan C entail?
After having been officially recognised as being more transmissible than the Delta variant, authorities are considering further action to minimise the damage caused by Omicron. This would include the need to present a COVID passport for smaller venues such as pubs and restaurants.
In addition to measures already set in place with Plan B, such as wearing masks in certain public spaces and a return to working from home, total lockdowns might not be so farfetched. Dr Rosanna Barnard explained that:
In our most optimistic scenario, the impact of omicron in the early part of 2022 would be reduced with mild control measures such as working from home.
However, our most pessimistic scenario suggests that we may have to endure more stringent restrictions to ensure the NHS is not overwhelmed. Mask-wearing, social distancing and booster jabs are vital, but may not be enough.
Nothing has been confirmed yet
Currently, the presence of the Omicron variant in the UK has been steadily increasing since it was first detected last month. Since, booster jabs, thought to be the best line of defence against the virus, are being administered as much as possible to all those over the age of 18. Still, despite the growing concern from health officials and the public alike, a government spokesperson said:
There are no plans for further restrictions. Plan B is the proportionate approach given what we know at this stage about the Omicron variant.
The government will continue to look closely at all the emerging data and we’ll keep our measures under review as we learn more about this variant.
This means that so far, holiday celebrations can go as planned, but things could quickly change by the time Christmas comes around if the number of cases don't stop growing at the rate that they currently are.