Britain could implement COVID-19 ‘plan B’ as early as Thursday – reports – Community News

Britain could implement COVID-19 ‘plan B’ as early as Thursday – reports

LONDON, December 8 (Reuters) – Britain could implement stricter COVID-19 measures as early as Thursday, including advice to work from home, according to media reports, to slow the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Sterling fell and investors reduced their bets on a Bank of England rate hike next week as reports said Johnson would announce the new Plan B as soon as Wednesday, which could also include COVID passports for major locations, the reports said. .

Times Radio host Tom Newton Dunn said on Twitter that a source had told him Plan B’s announcement was “85% likely”.

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Jessica Elgot, The Guardian’s chief political correspondent, said: “One source tells me new COVID rules are coming tomorrow, a version of Plan B inc work from home”

A spokesman for Johnson’s office had no immediate comment on the reports, which suggested the prospect of another blow to the UK’s economic recovery after the historic slump in 2020.

Johnson faced backlash after a video surfaced in which his staff laugh and joke about explaining how a gathering in Downing Street during a COVID Christmas lockdown last year when such festivities were banned.

Johnson and his ministers have repeatedly denied that any rules had been broken by the end of 2020, although the Mirror newspaper said Johnson was speaking at a farewell party and his team had a wine-fuelled gathering of about 40 to 50 people to celebrate Christmas.

Johnson’s spokesman has said no party was held.

At the time of the Downing Street gathering, tens of millions of people across Britain were banned from meeting close family and friends for a traditional Christmas celebration – or even saying goodbye to dying relatives.

“A sick joke,” read the headline on the Daily Mail, Britain’s best-selling newspaper.

The leader of the opposition Labor party, Keir Starmer, said the video was an insult to those who had adhered to the lockdown rules. “The Prime Minister must now be clear and apologize,” he said.

Conservative Party lawmaker Roger Gale said if parliament was deliberately misled it would be a matter of stepping down.

But another conservative lawmaker said that while the mood in the ruling party was poor, there was not yet the strength to take a step against Johnson.

Nearly 146,000 people have died from COVID in the United Kingdom.

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Reporting by James Davey, additional reporting by William James and Elizabeth Piper, written by William Schomberg and Guy Faulconbridge, editing by David Milliken, William Schomberg and Angus MacSwan

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.