Boris Johnson is set to announce new Covid-19 restrictions imminently to deal with the growing cases of the more transmissible Omicron variant.
Multiple media outlets are now reporting that Johnson is set to bring in the Plan B restrictions – mandatory face masks and vaccine passports, along with working from home orders – as early as tonight in a press conference.
Multiple Whitehall Sources tell the Financial Times that the Prime Minister’s move comes as a response to increasing cases of the Omicron variant, with some top scientists estimating that there are thousands of cases in the UK already.
The latest official figure is around 500.
The government’s top circle of cabinet ministers has reportedly met this afternoon to discuss bringing in the Plan B measures.
Any new restrictions will likely be staunchly opposed by many Tory MPs, particularly any plans to introduce vaccine passports for large events.
It will be widely suggested that the imposition of new restrictions are intended as a distraction from the scandal over an illegal Christmas party engulfing Number 10.
A video emerged last night of government aide Allegra Stratton joking about holding the Downing Street party, which appeared to have happened when social events were banned in London, after a week of Number 10 denials about the event.
A Whitehall source told the Guardian: “You can say it’s a distraction but it’s necessary. My worry is that we’ve lost our hearing with the public on this and we can’t do proper comms.”