Brits say it’s time to be on the lookout, so buy boosters and wear masks to save Christmas as the Omicron cases begin to spiral

SAJID Javid today insisted the Christmas lockdown could be avoided if Britons get the boosters and start doing regular self-tests.

Health Minister said Omicron variant “could have given the virus extra legs” in the race for a vaccine but could be beaten.

Health Minister Sajid Javid


Health Minister Sajid JavidCredit: AFP

And he affirms New restrictions include wearing of masks and curbs to travel will be discarded if the distortion becomes a false alarm.

Mr Javid made his comments after leading scientists attempted to assuage public anxiety about Omicron.

“I don’t want people to panic at this stage,” deputy medical director Jonathan Van Tam told a news conference.

The health minister said the health promotion program remained the best way to ensure people’s freedoms were protected.

He said while Omicron may reduce the strength of vaccines “they will most likely not be effective against fatal disease”.

And he revealed that there are a large number of unvaccinated Britons coming in for the stabbing over the weekend “probably because of concerns about this new variant”.

Mr Javid told Brits ministers were taking a “comprehensive view” of the restrictions focusing on “the economy, education and mental health”.

He said: “Get a hit when the time comes, follow the rules we’ve set, and get the tests fast, often.

“If we are all together again, then we can stop this virus and protect the progress we’ve made.”

He added: “If it appears this variant is not more dangerous than the Delta variant, we will not hold the measures for longer than one day is necessary.”

When assessing the threat posed by Omicron, “more important than anything is hospitalization,” Health Sec said.

And he insists the UK’s decision to open up completely during the summer means we are now better defensively against this variant than many countries.

He added: “There are many of my partners in Europe who now believe they should follow the same path.”

The UK is willing to buy a dose of vaccine that has been tweaked to fight the new variant if it reduces the effectiveness of current vaccines.

“If there is a need to purchase a new vaccine that we believe is safe and effective and will help with this new variant, we will do so,” he said.

Mr Javid confirmed details of the new restrictions that will come into effect from 4am tomorrow.

These include making face masks mandatory on public transport such as trains, buses and trams.

Brits will also have to wear face coverings in shops, banks, post offices and hair salons.

But they will not be required in hospitality environments such as bars and restaurants or entertainment venues such as cinemas and theatres.

All people coming to the UK from abroad will also have to isolate and do a PCR test on their second day in the country.

If the swabs come back negative, they will be allowed to leave the quarantine.

And self-isolation rules will be reintroduced for contacts of people who tested positive for Omicron.

Those who contacted someone received the new variant will have to self-isolate for 10 days even if they have been vaccinated.

MPs will vote on new restrictions in the next few days.

If we all get together again, we can stop this virus and protect the progress we’ve made.

Health Minister Sajid Javid

His comments come after scientists today gave all adults the green light in the UK.

Millions of Britons will be eligible for an early recharge after just a three-month gap in a bid to boost the nation’s immunity.

Ministers have pledged to continue to “front” in the fight against the fearsome new variant of Omicron.

Government scientists have confirmed new advice that will make an additional 13 million people over the age of 18 eligible for a third shot before the end of the year.

Experts hope cutting the gap between the second and third injections by six to three months will allow the UK to stay ahead of the new Covid variant.

Children aged 12 to 15 will also receive a second dose of the vaccine, in an effort to boost the nation’s immunity in the face of a worrying new strain of the virus.

The Sun has issued a new appeal for Jabs Army volunteers after it was announced that increased firing could be launched sooner.

We need 25,000 NHS volunteers to respond to help at hundreds of vaccination centers across the UK.

And with the scientists urging anyone eligible for a booster shot before December 11 and under age 18 to be considered for a second shot, Jabs Army need you.

Volunteers are needed across the UK but there are currently 20 areas in dire need of support.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam describes the variant as “the new kid on the block”, warning scientists around the world are still concerned.

He told the nation at a Downing Street briefing: “It’s always been the case that at some point we’re going to get a variant that worries us more.

“We’re at that point with Omicron.”

The next three weeks are critical to passing Omicron as scientists learn more, says JVT Brits say it’s time to be on the lookout, so buy boosters and wear masks to save Christmas as the Omicron cases begin to spiral

Tom Vazquez

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