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Tony Blair has said “you’re an idiot” if you have no health reason not to get vaccinated against Covid but still have not had the jab.
In an interview with Times Radio, the former prime minister said it would now be “incredibly difficult” for the government to introduce another full lockdown.
“One of the reasons I’m not in favour of shutting everything down is I’m not sure with this Omicron thing there’s anything you can do,” he said. “You’ve just got to give people the best protection.”
Blair added: “If you’re not vaccinated at the moment and you’re, you’re eligible and you’ve got no health reason for not being vaccinated, you’re not just irresponsible, I mean, you’re an idiot. I’m sorry, I mean, truthfully you are.”
It came as Boris Johnson was urged to outline his post-Christmas Covid strategy.
The prime minister has ruled out introducing new rules before Christmas, but there is an expectation tighter restrictions will be brought in soon after.
Gillian Keegan, a health minister, warned earlier today there is “uncertainty” around people making new year’s eve plans.
“We can’t predict what the data is going to tell us before we’ve got the data,” she told LBC.
“We are trying to take a balanced and proportionate approach so that people can see their families over Christmas to try and plan some stuff. But of course it is difficult to anticipate.”
But Labour pressed for decisions to be made as soon as possible. Shadow work and pensions secretary Jon Ashworth told Sky News: “People are anticipating that some form of restrictions will come in post-Christmas, and I think we just need to give people certainty.
Elsewhere, it was reported that UK Government scientists are set to conclude that Omicron is causing a milder disease than the Delta strain in most Britons.
Politico’s London Playbook said the UK Health Security Agency is expected to publish early real-world data on the disease’s severity before Christmas, with its findings also suggesting Omicron is not necessarily mild enough to avoid large numbers of hospital admissions.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.