Boris Johnson may introduce new Covid restrictions including a working from home order within 'days' in an attempt to save Christmas, it has been reported.
The recent threat from the new Omicron Covid variant means the Prime Minister is said to be considering Plan B for the festive period – and it could be put in place within just a matter of days.
It comes as scientists fear that Omicron may be three times more infectious than previous coronavirus variants.
A bleak picture has been given to Brits, where 1,000 people in the UK could be catching the new variant each day, and new cases doubling every three days.
The Government's proposed Plan B would mean people told to work from home to prevent the spread of the virus.
It may also include vaccine passports being enforced for events with crowds, such as football matches, reports state.
The Sun reported Johnson told ministers at a Cabinet meeting “early indications are that it is more transmissible than Delta".
The Government's plan would be to move quickly to slow the spread of Omicron even though no new social distancing measures have so far been put in place, except Johnson urging people to wear masks inside crowded areas like shops.
Omicron variant cases in the UK have risen to 437 on Tuesday, after 101 new infections were confirmed.
Professor Alastair Grant, of the University of East Anglia, says one in 50 cases are now caused by Omicron, totalling to around 1,000 new contractions a daily, after analysing official data from the UK Health Security Agency.
He added the high figure is due to “a mixture of it being good at transmitting itself and being a partial vaccine escape”.
In a 'worst-case' scenario, he warned there may be 2,5000 Omicron cases in England and 2% of positive swabs on Saturday likely to have been the new variant.
He said: “These numbers are very preliminary. They are likely to be over-estimates as testing has focused on people at higher risk of infection because of their travel history or contact with confirmed Omicron cases.
“But it is very likely that Omicron will quickly come to dominate cases in England, and that overall case numbers will increase from their current levels.”
Do you think there should be another lockdown enforced over Christmas after the emergence of the Omicron variant? Let us know in the comments below!
It comes after reports Boris is set to hold a press conference from Downing Street on December 18.
It's believed the conference will be when Brits will hear whether Christmas has been 'cancelled' and if any new social distancing measures have been put in place.
Last year, the country was sent into the fourth national lockdown just days before the festive holiday, leaving families unable to see loved ones and friends during the Christmas period.
Brits are on the edge of their seats awaiting news on if it is safe to see families this year and if their Christmas plans are to go ahead or to be put on hold for the second year running.
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