The Prime Minister has said the government “won’t hesitate to take action,” as reports of an upcoming lockdown continue to swirl.
While no new measures were announced by the government this evening media outlets have been reporting that a two week circuit breaker has been pencilled in for the 28 December by ministers. After an emergency cabinet meeting this afternoon Johnson told BBC reporters that the current situation is “extremely difficult.”
“We won’t hesitate to take action,” said Johnson, adding that the government “will rule nothing out,” as it seeks to prevent cases from rising while booster jabs are rolled out.
“The arguments either way are finely balanced,” said Johnson noting that Omicron cases are “surging and hospitalisations are rising quite steeply in London”.
He said the government will keep data under “constant review” and that “we will have to reserve the possibility of taking further action to protect the public and our NHS”.
Johnson expressed his “regret” that businesses are suffering under Covid-19 restrictions pointing out that there are already financial support packages in place.
In the past 48 hours both Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab and Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the government could not guarantee further lockdown restrictions would not be introduced before Christmas.
Reporters also pressed Johnson on a photo, first published by the Mirror this morning, which showed the Prime Minister and his wife drinking wine and eating cheese with guests in the Downing Street garden in May 2020.
Johnson said the picture was of “people at work, talking about work.”
“I really think it is vital that we focus on the messages we are trying to get across today,” he added.