Boris Johnson to hold major press conference next week to unveil Covid winter plan – here’s what is expected
BORIS Johnson will hold a major press conference next week to unveil his Covid winter plan for the country.
The Prime Minister is expected to tell the public how the booster jab programme will roll out as we prepare to tackle coronavirus over the coming months.The PM will unveil the winter plans in a major press conference next week[/caption]
With the PM reluctant to put the country into another lockdown, here’s everything he is expected to announce next week.
Boris is expected to say that vaccines will continue to be the first line of defence over the autumn and winter – a high-risk time for Covid as other respiratory illnesses circulate.
The independent Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation is also set to recommend details of a jab booster programme next week so that Brits are protected in the coming months.
Those who are vulnerable may receive their boosters as early as this month in the plans.
Several other countries – including the US, Israel, Hungary, Germany and France – have announced or have already started third dose programmes for some of their citizens.
Another major step set to be revealed is that the powers held to shut down swathes of the economy and impose limits on gatherings and events will be repealed.
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The temporary closing or limiting access to schools and powers to detain infectious people under the Coronavirus Act — called draconian by some Tory MPs — are no longer seen as necessary.
Downing Street views vaccines as the country’s “first line of defence” as we enter autumn and look to winter.
But there are still fears across Whitehall of Covid circulating alongside flu — while the threat of a new variant concerns ministers.
Mr Johnson said: “Thanks to the efforts of the public, the NHS and our phenomenal vaccination programme, we reached Step 4 in our road map and life has returned to a sense of normality.
“These extraordinary times required necessary but intrusive measures. But I’m determined to get rid of any powers we no longer need because of our vaccine defences.
“I will set out the next phase in our Covid response shortly.”
This comes as ministers are poised to allow double-jabbed travellers to avoid pricey PCR tests on their return.
Scrapping them for the vaccinated would allow the travel industry to compete with EU countries which no longer impose the tests.
A review of the traffic light system is also expected at the end of the week, and could see it simplified to red or green lists.
Turkey is expected to be taken off the “red list” this week — avoiding the need to spend ten days in quarantine in a hotel on return.
The move, barring a last-minute change, will let Brits take advantage of October half-term and visit hotspots such as Kaputas Beach.
And a mass covid jab rollout for kids aged 12 to 15-year-old is reported to be announced next week.
The move follows a review by the chief medical officers (CMOs) of all four UK nations, led by professor Chris Whitty.
Last week, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said children would receive only marginal health benefits, although it did consider the benefits of keeping kids in school.
In response to this, the UK’s chief medical officers have been drawing up advice for the Government on whether children aged 12 to 15 should be vaccinated.
But The Observer understands the Covid jabs programme for kids is set to go ahead and will begin on 22 September.
NHS bosses have been reportedly briefed on the plans after schools were told to be ready.
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