Tougher Covid restrictions will be needed in seven days to prevent the NHS coming under unsustainable pressure, leaked documents have said.
The documents, sent to Sajid Javid, from the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) say that “stringent national measures” need to be imposed by December 18 to avoid hospitalisations exceeding last winter’s figures, the Guardian reports.
The spread of Omicron variant is already leading to more hospitalisations with 5,000 a day being admitted.
READ MORE: London is Omicron ‘hotspot’ as variant makes up almost a third of all new cases in the city
It comes as London is identified as a hotspot for the new variant with 30% of cases being found in the capital.
The leaked document predicts that if we continue with current measures, cases are doubling in 2.5 days.
Without any further restrictions, the document warns that Omicron cases could be at 248,000 cases a day by December 19.
Plan B was announced last week, with some measures not coming into force until Monday.
The new measures include working from home, mask wearing in indoor venues and on public transport as well as Covid passes for some venues.
If Plan C was introduced, it would see Covid passports for all pubs, cafes, indoor venues and masks in all hospitality venues.
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The Government held an emergency COBRA meeting with the devolved administrations of the UK on Friday.
Following the meeting, Mr Gove said: “The meeting I’ve just chaired with first ministers of all the devolved administrations was presented with some very challenging new information.
“We know that we have the highest number of Covid infections across the UK recorded today since January 9. We know the Omicron variant is doubling every two to three days in England, and possibly even faster in Scotland.
“We know that 30% of reported cases in London are the Omicron variant and of course we only identified Omicron in this country a fortnight ago.”
A government spokesperson said on Friday: “There are no plans for further restrictions. Plan B is the proportionate approach given what we know at this stage about the Omicron variant.
“The government will continue to look closely at all the emerging data and we’ll keep our measures under review as we learn more about this variant.”
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