Revellers hit town for festive fun as Plan B looms and ‘more curbs may be needed’
Partygoers hit the town on Saturday night before Plan B curbs are introduced, amid warnings harsher restrictions may be needed soon.
Some revellers were pictured wearing Christmas hats and jumpers as they headed to clubs and bars in Manchester and Newcastle.
Brits have been making the best of the festive season following heavy restrictions last year – but it comes as experts say social contact should be reduced amid fears over the new Omicron variant.
Under Plan B restrictions, vaccine passports or negative lateral flow tests will be needed to get into clubs and other large venues from Wednesday.
People are advised to work from home from tomorrow, while face masks will be compulsory in most indoor spaces, although hospitality is exempt.
Boris Johnson is said to be resisting calls for Plan C, which could reportedly limit visitor numbers in care homes and restart table service at pubs.
Meanwhile, the Government is reported to be considering producing a Plan D, which may see pubs and restaurants only allowed to serve outdoors, The Mirror reports.
It comes as it’s confirmed there are now patients in hospital infected with the Omicron variant.
Nadhim Zahawi revealed the news this morning but did not say whether the infection was the primary reason for their hospitalisation or what their vaccination status is.
Speaking about Omicron on Sky News’ Trevor Phillips On Sunday programme, he said: ‘We know that it is highly infectious so the doubling rate is between two and three days.
‘Very quickly, Omicron will be the dominant variant in the United Kingdom and probably the rest of the world.
‘We’ve seen this movie before; we saw it with the Kent (Alpha) variant and then Delta.’
Meanwhile, the chief medical adviser for the UK Health Security Agency has cautioned a large wave of Omicron infections is ‘inevitable’.
Dr Susan Hopkins said people will have to reduce social contacts as much as possible, although more research is needed to determine how dangerous Omicron actually is.
She told the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show: ‘I think that the restrictions that the Government have announced are sensible.
‘I think that we may need to go beyond them. But we’ll need to watch carefully what happens with hospitalisations.’
When questioned on if there was a Plan C document, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘Not that I’m aware of.
‘As a responsible Government, of course, you would expect us to… we have an array, already, of options available to us in terms of what measures we can take to mitigate a growth of any variant or virus.
‘But there are no plans to go beyond that currently.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]
For more stories like this, check our news page.