"No-one wants to see any more restrictions," Sajid Javid says but does not rule out new measures to combat the spread of Covid
Further Covid restrictions have not been ruled out by the government as Omicron spreads at an alarming rate.
A record 78,610 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases were reported in one day in the UK on Wednesday, the highest daily total since the pandemic began.
When repeatedly asked about the prospect of tightened Covid rules amid fears hospitalisations will increase as coronavirus cases soar, Health Secretary Sajid Javid acknowledged the impact of restrictions on people’s lives but did not discount them.
Asked if he agreed with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps that there would be no more restrictions until the new year, the health secretary said: “No-one wants to see any more restrictions.
“These restrictions, whenever they are made, they are really difficult things to do because they have a real impact on people’s lives, they can really disrupt their daily activities, what they were perhaps planning to do, and no-one wants to see that.
“At the same time, people want to be safe for themselves, for their families, for their friends.
“We all know now what we can do. We’re learning more about this variant all the time.”
Speaking after visiting a vaccination centre at The Gordon Hospital in Westminster, Mr Javid said: “If you haven’t been vaccinated before, please come forward for your first jab, your second jab.
“But most of all, for those of us who have – get boosted.”
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Meanwhile the chief executive of NHS England said the latest UK daily total of Covid cases “should worry all of us.”
Asked about the news that 78,610 new cases were recorded as of 9am on Wednesday, Amanda Pritchard told the Commons Public Accounts Committee: “That is a stark reminder of why the current national mission to get Covid vaccination is the right one.”
She added: “I think that figure should worry all of us and that’s why the booster programme is so important.”