After lifting the COVID-19 restrictions in July, PM Boris Johnson is worried about the next few months and the spread of the virus. There is a possibility that the NHS could come under pressure in the next few months, provided the UK also gets hit by a flu season. Measures like facemasks and work from home are expected to be listed in the PM Johnson’s COVID Winter plan, which will come out on Wednesday. Both the restrictions were lifted in July but might become a need again in the winter.
PM Johnson is expected to lay out a plan that will not only fight the rising cases throughout the winter season but also, a plan that avoids a nationwide lockdown again. Considering these factors, people might once again have to wear face masks in public.
PM Johnson is also set to reveal the biggest flu jab campaign roll out around the same time. A minister told The Times
The government may need to take measures to help manage the virus during periods of higher risk, such as winter
However, the government is adamant about ensuring that the hospitality industry or schools are not damaged during this time and, thus, the minister added
will as far as possible seek to avoid imposing restrictions that have significant economic, social, and health costs
It comes after the news that PM is looking into extending the ‘draconian’ COVID-19 powers for the next six months. Under these circumstances, to avoid a full closure, the government might order to make face masks mandatory and reinstate work from home procedures.
PM Johnson is set to keep the Coronavirus Act enshrined in the law until March 2022, post that it will automatically lapse after being in place for two years. In this act, the legislation provides authorities and cops to restrict public gatherings, force people to self-isolate, and close premises as and when needed. Further, it would also support pandemic safety nets like guaranteeing sick pay for people in quarantine and protecting renters from eviction.
Meanwhile, the government would go ahead with booster shots and flu rollouts where the most vulnerable would get a third jab and flu shots. This would be done in an attempt to control hospitals from being overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases. There has been a sharp increase of six percent in the number of cases. Currently, there are 8,085 people in hospitals due to the virus, which is the highest number of cases since early March.