Boris Johnson has said he currently sees no reason to activate the Government’s Covid Plan B, despite the high level of cases.
His comments follow calls by the NHS Confederation and the British Medical Association, as well as a number of prominent scientists, for ministers to take steps to ease the growing pressures on the health service.
Moving to Plan B for England would mean the return to working at home advice and the mandatory wearing of face masks, as well as the introduction of so-called vaccine passports.
The Prime Minister said that while the Government was closely monitoring the situation, there was no need to act at this stage.
“We’re watching the numbers every day. Yes it’s true that cases are high. But they do not currently constitute any reason to go to Plan B,” he said.
“I think it’s agreed among absolutely everybody, apart from possibly the Labour Party, so we’re sticking with the plan.”
The Prime Minister repeated his call for the over 50s to get the booster jab amid concern the protection provided by the vaccines is waning, particularly among older age groups.
“I think rather than thinking new restrictions, the best thing everybody can do is get that booster jab as soon as you’re offered it,” he said.
“It’s a very important message. I think people don’t quite realise that the first two jabs do start to wane.
“How sad, how tragic it would be if people who had other complications other compromises in their health got seriously ill because they were overconfident about their level of immunity and didn’t get their booster when they needed it
“So please please please can everybody get their boosters.”
Asked if he could guarantee a good Christmas, the Prime Minister did not answer directly, saying: “I see no evidence whatever to think that any kind of lockdown is on the cards.”