Boris Johnson says people shouldn’t cancel Christmas parties on Omicron
Hello. We have another day when politics will be largely dominated by news and debate about the measures taken in response to the emergence of the Omicron variant. There will be a debate and vote in the House of Commons, statements by the Scottish and Welsh governments and a Boris Johnson press conference this afternoon, focusing on booster vaccines. And this morning Dr Jenny Harry, Managing Director of the UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA), participated in the Today program. The new Covid restrictions for England announced by the government were relatively small compared to what they could have been – many countries have much stricter rules for Delta – but Harries gave an idea of how the preferences scientists are way ahead of what politicians are going to legislate when she said it would be better to avoid unnecessary socialization.
Harries pointed out that we still don’t know how serious the threat Omicron poses is. When asked if she wanted to see more people working from home (a UK government plan B measure, but not yet implemented), Harries told the program:
What we have seen, in fact, is that not everyone has returned to work. I’d like to think about it more generally, which is that if we all decrease our social contact a bit, it actually helps keep the variant at bay. So I think you have to be careful, not to socialize when you don’t particularly need it and especially to go get these boosters.
I will be posting more of his interview shortly.
Here is the program for the day.
9:30 am: Boris Johnson chairs the cabinet.
Morning: Keir Starmer chairs a meeting of his new shadow cabinet.
9:30 am: Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of energy regulator Ofgem, testifies before Lords Industry and Regulators Committee on energy prices.
10:15 am: Jacob Rees-Mogg, Leader of the Commons, testifies before the Commons Privileges Committee on the powers committees should have to call witnesses.
11:30 am: Downing Street is holding a lobby briefing.
11:30 am: Liz Truss, Minister of Foreign Affairs, answers questions in the Commons. David Lammy will respond for the Labor Party as the new Shadow Foreign Secretary.
12:15: Eluned Morgan, Welsh Government Health Minister, Holds Covid Briefing.
After 12:45 p.m .: MEPs begin a three-hour debate on new Covid restrictions for England announced this weekend.
After 2 p.m .: Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish Prime Minister, makes a statement in the Scottish Parliament on Covid.
About 16 o’clock : MPs open debate on an SNP motion censoring Boris Johnson for dishonesty and other standards violations.
Afternoon: Boris Johnson holds a press conference.
I will cover the UK Covid developments here, as well as the non-Covid policy here, but for global Covid developments read our Global Live Blog.
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