Health Secretary Sajid Javid has revealed plans to tackle Covid-19 during Britain’s autumn and winter, with Johnson warning that the country remains under threat from the virus. The government’s plan to respond to the virus during the cold months is divided into two parts:
Plan (A), which aims to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed, and to promote vaccinations and testing, by:
- Encouraging the unvaccinated to be jabbed.
- Offer vaccines to 12 to 15-year-olds.
- Begin a booster jab program for millions.
- Continuing testing, tracing of cases and self-isolation for those who catch the virus.
- Encouraging businesses to consider using the NHS Covid Pass to check the vaccination or test status of customers.
If Plan A fails, the country will move on to Plan B. It should be noted that authorities will not resort to the alternative plan unless the British health sector is exposed to unbearable pressure. It may include measures such as:
- Urging the public to act more cautiously.
- Using mandatory vaccine passports for mass events and other settings.
- Legally mandating face coverings in some places.
- Issuing guidance on working from home.
Mr. Johnson, discussing the plan at a Downing Street news conference, said he was confident vaccinations could protect the gains made so far. He hopes the vaccination program meant the UK could remain “one of the most free societies” in Europe, with only limited restrictions to keep the disease in check.
The Road from A to B
Asked in what circumstances he would consider moving from Plan A to the stricter Plan B, Mr Johnson said he would consider the risks, the state of the disease and factors like hospital pressure.
But he expressed some optimism, saying that “because so many of the population have some degree of immunity, smaller changes in the way we’re asking people to behave can have a bigger impact. This would give us the confidence that we don’t have to go back to the lockdowns of the past.”
As such, it seems that the UK’s plans to respond to the Covid-19 crisis in the winter depend mainly on vaccines and the immunity people get from them. And the plan says that more harmful economic and social restrictions are a last resort, according to the BBC.