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Covid-19 live updates: Health Secretary won’t rule out pre Christmas restrictions as Omicron surge hits South West


New coronavirus measures before Christmas have not been ruled out by the Health Secretary, who said there are “no guarantees” following a “sobering analysis” from scientific advisers warning about the threat from Omicron.

Sajid Javid said while there remains uncertainty about the new variant, it is time to be “more cautious” amid the rapid spread of the strain.

His comments came as more than 1,000 Omicron cases were confirmed across the South West – and 7,000 in London, where a major incident has been declared.

READ MORE: Rules ‘could be tightened in England after Christmas’ as Omicron cases surge

Covid rates in the Bristol area are soaring again, as Omicron took over as the dominant strain of the virus.

It has been reported nationally that the Government’s scientific advisory group SAGE will tell an emergency cabinet meeting this afternoon – Sunday – that the present rate of hospital admissions with Covid could be ten times higher, because of a lag in hospitals and NHS trusts reporting the data.

The “situation update” from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) on Thursday was published on Saturday and said that it is “almost certain that there are now hundreds of thousands of new Omicron infections per day” in England.

Asked about a possible tightening of restrictions after Christmas, a Government spokesman said they will “continue to look closely at all data and keep our measures under review”.

Coronavirus cases continue to rise across Bristol as the Government continues to urge people to get booster jabs across the UK. There are 46 areas across the Bristol region where cases remain high as the UK R rate could be as high as 5.

READ MORE: Omicron booster: New restrictions and rules confirmed by Sajid Javid

It comes in the wake of a rapid surge in Omicron variant Covid – with reports one million people could be infected or isolating by Christmas Day.

Omicron is now doubling every two days and is spreading rapidly in the South West as hundreds of people are infected with the new variant.

It comes as NHS England is encouraging everyone to get jabbed and boosted as figures show there are more than 200,000 people still unvaccinated in the region.

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