Health Secretary proves no new English Covid restrictions before New…

Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed there will be no new coronavirus restrictions before New Year.

It method New Year’s Eve parties across England will be able to continue as normal with Mr Javid instead urging people to “keep careful”.

It comes as the UK Government confirmed there had been over 320,000 coronavirus situations identified in the three days since Christmas Eve.

Mr Javid said: “We look at the data on a daily basis, that hasn’t changed over the Christmas period, but there will be no further measures before the new year.

“We won’t be taking any further measures, of course people should keep careful as we approach new year celebrations and take a lateral flow test if that makes sense, celebrate outdoors if you can, have some ventilation indoors if you can.

“Please keep careful and when we get into the new year of course we will see then if we do need to take any further measures but nothing more until then, at the minimum.”

The Health Secretary stressed it was important for the Home Nations to each decide their own coronavirus restrictions – with Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland already having stricter rules than England.

He told Sky News: “It’s for each country that makes up the United Kingdom to decide how it wants to go forward.

“So for example in England, we decided back in July that we would open up in the summer.

“I think we look back now and that has been the right decision.”

Mr Javid also said that he wanted everyone to have a “credible opportunity to get their booster” and that he wanted to see 100% of people receiving the top-up by the end of the year.

He said that since the Government had learned of the Omicron variant its strategy had been to “buy time”, adding that while there was uncertainty over the variant, the best form of defence was vaccination.

He said there were “disproportionate” levels of unvaccinated people being admitted to hospital, adding: “Can I please say to people, please do come forward… protect yourselves, protect your loved ones and protect your community.”

He told Sky News that there were “plenty of slots”, with 1.5 million slots obtainable over the next few days and that while the NHS was “doing a bright job”, the Government needed people to come forward.

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