Covid winter plan to prevent NHS from being overwhelmed includes return of face masks
Sajid Javid has laid out a 'Plan B' for winter if cases of Covid don't continue to fall.
Speaking in the House of Commons today, Mr Javid laid out his five pillar plan to protect the NHS from being over during the autumn and winter.
But he also said, if the plan does not work the government could be forced to bring back face masks and home working as a legal requirement.
Under the goverment's preferred plan, children aged 12 to 15 will be vaccinated against coronavirus and the over-50s will get a booster jab as part of the government’s winter plan for the NHS unveiled today.
Measures have been confirmed that the government believes could be necessary to prevent further outbreaks over the winter, when infections tend to increase and could heighten the risk of the NHS being overwhelmed.
Vulnerable patients will be offered a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine at least six months after a second dose.
Boris Johnson is expected to warn the pandemic is far from over and that society must continue "living with" Covid. But he hasn't ruled out a winter lockdown.
Children aged 12 to 15 in England will be offered one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid jab, the government says.
They will have the jab but only if there is parental consent. Jabs will be administered at schools but by NHS staff.
Teaching unions have reacted cautiously to the reports and have urged the government to make clear that it is not teachers who will be giving injections.
Head teachers are receiving letters from pressure groups “threatening” legal action if schools take part in any Covid-19 vaccination programmes.
Under the winter plan, about 30 million people in the UK should be offered a booster jab this winter.
The Prime Minister will hold a press conference later this afternoon.
Responding to a question on Facebook asking “What measures would you be happy to see to avoid another lockdown?” KentOnline readers called for things to get back to normal.
David Parker said: “We have to learn to live with this virus. Enough is enough now. Flu kills nearly 25,000 a year and we don't stop the everything for that."
Steve Burrows added: “Some consistency would be good too. Don't tell us we can get together at Christmas a few days before it gets cancelled.”
While others called for less severe rules. Wendy Lampert said: “Face masks in shops and on public transport, and sensible social distancing – not a big ask.”