There are not any plans for a “firebreak” lockdown in October, the federal government stated at this time, describing such measures “a final resort”.
It had been reported that ministers had been contemplating emergency lockdown plans over the half-term college holidays subsequent month.
The prime minister’s official spokesman stated it was “not true”, including: “Now we have retained contingency plans as a part of accountable planning for a spread of situations, however these form of measures would solely be reintroduced as a final resort to stop unsustainable strain on our NHS.
“I believe we’ve been clear all through that we’ll take motion, and certainly we now have executed when crucial to guard our NHS.
“However underneath the earlier events when that motion has been required, we now have been with out the numerous defences that our vaccination programme gives us — we’re now in a a lot completely different part.”
The i newspaper reported an nameless member of the federal government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) saying contingency plans had been drawn up within the face of latest rises in hospital admissions and circumstances.
They stated the plan — just like one it proposed final 12 months — would make sure the NHS was not overwhelmed by an “prolonged peak” of circumstances within the coming weeks.
It may contain extending the half-term college holidays to a fortnight, somewhat than per week, they advised.
“It will be smart to have contingency plans, and if a lockdown is required, to time it in order that it has minimal financial and societal influence,” they stated.
“We’re going to be at a peak, albeit an prolonged peak, fairly quickly, so it’s not likely the identical scenario as final 12 months, when failure to scale back prevalence would have resulted in collapse of the NHS and folks dying in automotive parks.
“Hospitals is perhaps overflowing earlier than deaths attain the identical stage. Performing early will stop this stage.”
Earlier this morning, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi had instructed BBC Breakfast that he had not seen any such plan. “No, I haven’t seen any … I do know the place this query comes from. The i newspaper was reporting that they assume there might be a doable lockdown,” he stated.
“Vaccines have given us the flexibility to scale back infections, to save lots of 100,000 lives.
“It’s by the booster programme that I hope … we will transition the virus from pandemic to endemic standing and take care of it 12 months in, 12 months out. It will be with us for a few years — however [we will] not have to shut down our economic system or take the extreme measures we needed to sadly soak up December of final 12 months.”