Boris Johnson announcement: Brits remain lockdown free as 'normal life could return in months' plus Covid deaths today

PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has said that Britain will continue "on the path we are on" and remain lockdown-free.

However, No10 is set to look over the current Plan B measures on Wednesday as Government reviews Omicron data.

Meanwhile, Denmark's top health boss has said that normal life could return in just two months as the Omicron variant is helping end the Covid pandemic.

On Monday evening, new figures have revealed hospital admissions have fallen in London for the first time since the Omicron variant emerged.

The promising news comes despite the latest 45 per cent rise in coronavirus cases, as 42 new fatalities were logged.  

Meanwhile, a further 106, 665 people have taken up a booster shot in the last 24 hours – with the total of triple vaxed individuals now standing at 34, 205,472.

Read our Covid-19 live blog for the latest news and updates…

  • Milica Cosic

    Parents who need Lateral Flow tests should refresh Government website NOW

    PARENTS who need Lateral Flow tests should refresh the Government website NOW to order before kids go back to school this week.

    Education secretary Nadhim Zahawi insisted that test "supply will absolutely be there" for pupils gearing up for a return to classrooms after the Christmas break.

    But he urged Brits to "refresh their webpages" to get the tests ASAP as more delivery slots are released online.

    All students and staff are expected to be tested for the virus on day one of the spring term to reduce the spread of the Omicron variant.

    Parents can order tests online before kids go back to schoolCredit: .
  • Milica Cosic

    Not just the weather that is mild this January

    It is not just the weather that is mild this January.

    Omicron, which had threatened to plunge us into an icy winter lockdown hell, appears to be fading.

    London, the epicentre of the new variant outbreak, may already have passed the peak with admissions falling.

    The fact that the capital is thought to be two weeks ahead of the rest of the country gives huge hope that Omicron could be on its way out.

    Britain appears to be following the path of South Africa; a short, sharp and far less lethal outbreak.

  • Milica Cosic

    Scotland’s top doc sparks backlash over party comments

    SCOTLAND'S top doctor has sparked backlash after warning the country's current Covid ban on parties could last for months.

    His comments sparked backlash among Twitter users with one saying : "Seriously, @jasonleitch. Enough. Every time you speak you are affecting the mental health of people (me and lots of others).

    "Stop breaking people’s hearts and start fixing the NHS. It’s in a disastrous situation and Covid must not be used as an excuse."

    Another one commented: "As we have been in isolation for 17 of the last 20 days and if tests are negative this could have been stopped and we can get out and about again. It really is time to start looking after folks mental health too."

    Tory MSP Jackson Carlaw wrote: "This cannot be allowed to happen.
    "Businesses and fans were promised a 3 week breaker. ScotGov cannot extend in perpetuity when the evidence suggests the opposite."

  • Milica Cosic

    Scotland’s top doc warns parties could be banned for MONTHS

    National Clinical Director Jason Leitch said the current restrictions could be in place until April in a bid to stop the Omicron variant spread.

    When presented with the idea of hosting a large gathering like a late Hogmanay in April, during a BBC Radio 4 interview, the health expert said it "might be slightly too early." 

    The health expert's response was: "I like an Edinburgh night out, like any other person in Scotland.

    "I certainly look forward to next year's Hogmanay, but whether we can bring that forward to April, I think the jury is still out.

    “We are hopeful, and the data is now aligning. We have now got data from South Africa, from University College London, from Denmark, and crucially from Edinburgh that suggests serious disease is certainly less with this variant, maybe as much as three quarters less.

    “But let's put that in perspective — 2,500 Delta cases [per day] gets you 50 people in hospital, and we don’t take that lightly.

    "You need 10,000 Omicron cases for the same number of admissions and Scotland is at 15,000 cases, so it’s not one jump and you’re free.”

  • Milica Cosic

    Omicron symptoms that could mean you need urgent treatment

    Some of these signs can occur on your skin, lips, or nails, and it's recommended that if you do notice them, you get them checked by your GP.

    According to health experts in America at the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), one symptom can be a pale, grey or blue-coloured tinge on your skin, lips or nail beds.

    The CDC warns a blueish colour in your skin, lips and nails could be a sign of low-oxeygen levels.

    The US health experts describe any occurrence of the symptom as “emergency warning signs", and say people should get them checked out by a medical professional straight away.

    Other unusual signs of Omicron include lower back pain, a hoarse or scratchy voice, night sweats, aching muscles and a runny nose.

  • Milica Cosic

    Awful quarantine facilities in China

    China is clearly sticking to its zero-tolerance approach to Covid – with reports of residents being shipped off to quarantine camps in the middle of the night.

    People shared images of the quarantine facilities, claiming it was cold and they had not been given food.

    One comment said: "There is nothing here, just basic necessities… Nobody has come to check up on us, what kind of quarantine is this?

    "They did a big transfer of us, more than a thousand people, in the night and many of us are elderly people and children.

    "They didn't make any proper arrangements and so they just carelessly placed us [here]."

    China has logged 131,300 cases and 5,699 deaths since the pandemic kicked off, but its citizens have faced some of the toughest measures in the world.

  • Milica Cosic

    Chinese authorities ‘put people on buses to quarantine camps’

    CHINESE authorities reportedly raided dozens of homes in the middle of the night and forced people onto buses to quarantine camps under the world's strictest lockdown.

    The 13 million people living in the northern city of Xian have been banned from leaving their homes – even for essential reasons like buying food – to squash the rising tide of Covid infections.

    It is not known exactly how many people were ordered to leave during the midnight eviction, but one person reported seeing 30 buses, while another claimed up to a thousand people were moved, BBC News reports.

    People said they had been left waiting on the buses for several hours and those taken to the quarantine facilities included elderly people, young children and pregnant women, according to reports.

    A picture of an old man standing alone in the cold as he waited to be put on a bus reportedly went viral online.

    Authorities reportedly going door to door in an apartment block to get people out for Covid testing Credit: TWITTER
  • Milica Cosic

    BREAKING: Hospital admissions FALL in London for first time 

    HOSPITAL admissions have fallen in London for the first time since Omicron emerged, new figures have revealed.

    The promising news comes despite the latest rise in cases showing a 45 percent increase in the last seven days, as 42 new fatalities were logged

    In a boost to the NHS, figures also show a steady decline of hospitalisations in the capital since December 27.

    Meanwhile, a further 106, 665 people have taken up a booster shot in the last 24 hours – with the total of triple vaxed individuals now standing at 34, 205,472.

    The rise means almost 60% of the UK population have had their third jab.

    Read more here.

  • Milica Cosic

    Don't forget a test before going to school

    Earlier today it was announced that schools have enough Covid tests to reopen safely next week – but some may still close if teachers are trapped in isolation.

    All students and staff are expected to be tested for the virus on day one of the spring term as planned after the Education Secretary secured millions of kits.

    Zahawi delivered 28million test packs to schools between December 6 and 17, and a further 17.6million are to be sent out by January 14.

    This is sufficient for testing when schools reopen on Tuesday, but a global lateral flow shortage could shut classes down in the weeks that follow.

    That's because teachers may be forced to stay at home for 10 days after testing positive – despite self-isolation being slashed to just seven.

  • Milica Cosic

    Positive studies around Omicron

    A string of hugely positive studies show Omicron IS milder than other strains, with the first official UK report revealing the risk of hospitalisation is 50 to 70 per cent lower than with Delta.

    Covid booster jabs protect against Omicron and offer the best chance to get through the pandemic, health officials have repeatedly said.

    And, The Sun's Jabs Army campaign is helping get the vital extra vaccines in Brits' arms to ward off the need for any new restrictions.

  • Milica Cosic

    Backlash over plans to force kids to wear face masks

    PLANS to once again make secondary school pupils wear masks in the classroom have been met with backlash by Tory MPs.

    Former Tory leader, Sir Iain Duncan Smith said the new rules were “premature” while David Jones, a former minister, said a rethink was required.

    Smith, 67, said: “It’s far better to test pupils for Covid than to mandate masks.

    "They will be worn badly and won’t stop contact between kids.

    "I don’t know who they’re going to protect – the teachers should be triple jabbed by now. It’s very important that the schooling isn’t wrecked as a result of this.”

  • Milica Cosic

    'You should self isolate even if you just have a COLD'

    A TOP doc has claimed all Brits should self isolate even if they only have a COLD in a move that would cripple the economy and wreak havoc on the NHS.

    Sir Frank Atherton – chief medical officer for Wales – has insisted anyone with a runny nose should keep themselves locked away for "a few days".

    Sir Frank, Chris Whitty's counterpart in Wales, told Times Radio that Brits should self isolate if they have "a cold, or symptoms of a cold, runny nose or cough or are sneezing" so they don't pass the virus on.

    "Looking beyond the current wave, even, we need to think about how we behave as a society when we have any of these infections," he added.

    "Whether it's flu or the common cold, or coronavirus, we probably need to move to a position where anybody who has a viral infection of that nature selfisolates, whether they're an adult or a child, for a few days, just to stop it transmitting."

    The move would spark chaos for the already understaffed NHS – as worst estimates claim up to a quarter of public sector workers could be self-isolating because Omicron is so easy to catch.

    That’s more than a million frontline staff stuck at home for seven days or more as hospitalisations rise.

  • Milica Cosic

    ‘Isolation period should be brought down’

    Tory MP Andrew Bridgen has said that action should be taken to help people return to work quickly.

    He said: “The isolation period should be brought down to five days for the fully vaccinated if you can provide two negative lateral flow tests on consecutive days.

    “Essential workers including everyone from the NHS, police and lorry drivers should also have priority in getting PCR tests.

    “The quicker they can get back to work if they have a negative test rather than being at home, the better for everyone.”

  • Milica Cosic

    Ministers adamant there is no need for further restrictions

    Meanwhile, ministers are bullish that there is no need to add any more Covid restrictions to fight the new Omicron wave. 

    No10 is set to review current restrictions this week but are not expected to make any changes. 

    Health minister Ed Agar said hospitalisations are not crippling the NHS – although he expects them to rise but revealed that only 789 people on ventilators. 

    He said: “I’m seeing nothing in the data right in front of me in the immediate situation, that suggests a need for further restrictions.”

  • Louis Allwood

    Chinese authorities ‘raid homes at midnight & put people on buses to quarantine camps’

    The country is racing to control one of its worst outbreaks in a single city since the beginning of the pandemic with a sweeping lockdown and draconian restrictions.

    The 13 million people living in the northern city of Xian have been banned from leaving their homes – even for essential reasons like buying food – to squash the rising tide of Covid infections.

    China is clearly sticking to its zero-tolerance approach to Covid – with reports of residents being shipped off to quarantine camps in the middle of the night.

    It is not known exactly how many people were ordered to leave during the midnight eviction, but one person reported seeing 30 buses, while another claimed up to a thousand people were moved, BBC News reports.

    People shared images of the quarantine facilities, claiming it was cold and they had not been given food.

    One comment said: "There is nothing here, just basic necessities… Nobody has come to check up on us, what kind of quarantine is this?

    "They did a big transfer of us, more than a thousand people, in the night and many of us are elderly people and children.

    "They didn't make any proper arrangements and so they just carelessly placed us [here]."

  • Louis Allwood

    How do I report my results?

    Use this service to report your result to the NHS after using a rapid lateral flow test kit to check if you’re infectious with coronavirus (COVID-19).

    Report the result every time you use a rapid lateral flow test kit and as soon as possible after you get the result.

    You cannot report a result after more than 24 hours. You can only report one result at a time.

    You need to have the barcode on the test strip or the ID number printed under it and a mobile phone number to get a test confirming the result.

    It is the same for reporting your children's results.

    You can also report results to NHS Test and Trace on the same day they take it, either by inputting their results online or by calling 119.

  • Louis Allwood

    How do I order and use a Covid lateral flow test?

    Head online to this website – where you can request a pack of tests to use at home.

    The testing kit comes with instructions and is fairly simple to use.

    It first involves taking a swab of the throat and nose and dipping it into a solution.

    This is then placed onto a paper pad on the device – that looks like a pregnancy stick.

    Inside the device is a strip of test paper that changes colour if coronavirus proteins are in the sample.

    Usually, one line next to the "C" means negative, two lines next to "C" and "T" means positive, and no lines or one next to "T" means the test is void.

    They often have key timelines in which the results are valid, so if you spot a change hours later it could be wrong.

    The best way to know for sure is to repeat the test to stay as safe as possible.

  • Louis Allwood

    What is a Covid lateral flow test?

    A Covid lateral flow test uses a swab from a patient's nose or throat to quickly determine if they are infected with coronavirus.

    They are being used to check if people have the virus but are not showing symptoms.

    By catching these people it means they can isolate at home and not spread the virus.

    Around one in three people with coronavirus don’t have symptoms, which means they could be spreading the virus without knowing.

  • Louis Allwood

    Sign up to The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign

    The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is helping get the vital extra vaccines in Brits’ arms to ward off the need for any new restrictions.

    Covid booster jabs protect against Omicron and offer the best chance to get through the pandemic, health officials have repeatedly said.

    Boris Johnson has begged millions of people to book their first, second or booster jabs in now to protect them from the virus, admitting that cases of omicron are still rising.

  • Louis Allwood

    Britain will continue on ‘path we’re on’

    No10 is set to look over the current Plan B measures on Wednesday, when parliament returns from recess.

    But for now, the country will remain lockdown-free while the "plainly milder" Omicron variant continues to spread, the PM said.

    Speaking during a visit to a vaccination hub in Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Bucks., the PM said the Omicron variant is "plainly milder" than other strains.

    While the Omicron spread continues, the UK will keep going on the same path its on now, he added.

    Mr Johnson said: "I think we've got to recognise that the pressure on our NHS – on our hospitals – is going to be considerable in the course the next couple of weeks, and maybe more."

  • Louis Allwood

    Covid boosters are 88% effective

    BOOSTERS give 88 per cent protection against being hospitalised with Omicron, new data has revealed today.

    Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “This is more promising data which reinforces just how important vaccines are. They save lives and prevent serious illness.

    “This analysis shows you are up to 8 times more likely to end up in hospital as a result of Covid-19 if you are unvaccinated.

    “It is never too late to come forward for your first dose and it’s vital that everyone comes forward to get boosted now as we head into the new year.”

    Read more here.

  • Louis Allwood

    You should self isolate even if you just have a COLD says top doc

    Sir Frank Atherton – chief medical officer for Wales – has insisted anyone with a runny nose should keep themselves locked away for "a few days".

    The move would spark chaos for the already understaffed NHS – as worst estimates claim up to a quarter of public sector workers could be self-isolating because Omicron is so easy to catch.

    That’s more than a million frontline staff stuck at home for seven days or more as hospitalisations rise.

    Ministers are now facing calls to follow America's lead and reduce isolation to five days to free up shut-in Brits.

    A potential reduction in isolation days comes after it was discovered that the Omicron variant – which is now responsible for 90 per cent of cases in the UK – is milder, with most people suffering cold-like symptoms.

  • Louis Allwood

    Latest figures

    A further 137,583 Covid cases were recorded in England and Wales yesterday after infections reached record highs for five days in a row.

    On Sunday, Health minister Ed Argar said hospitalisations are not crippling the NHS – although he expects them to rise.

    Revealing 789 people were currently on ventilators, Mr Argar said on Sunday: "I'm seeing nothing in the data right in front of me in the immediate situation, that suggests a need for further restrictions."

    "We need cool, calm heads. We need to look at the data and we need to do everything possible to avoid any restrictions – restrictions or curbs must be the absolute last resort.”

  • Louis Allwood

    "At the moment there's nothing in the data to suggest we need to go further"

    Scientists believe the full effects of the Christmas period may not show up in the data until the end of this week.

    And Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi told Sky News this morning: "At the moment there's nothing in the data to suggest we need to go further but of course, we will look at the Wednesday review and then beyond that keep monitoring the data very carefully."

    He added that the numbers of people in hospital with coronavirus have begun to rise in the over-50s, "which we are concerned about, but on the whole, actually the number of people in ICU [intensive care] has come down, which is good news".

  • Louis Allwood

    Can I still have the Covid booster if I have a cold?

    The short answer is yes.

    If you are certain it is not Covid you are suffering with and you are well enough to leave home, you can get your third shot with confidence.

    It might make you feel a bit rougher than if you weren’t ill, but overall it’s perfectly safe – and you can emerge from your sickly funk safe in the knowledge you are protected against coronavirus.

    A cold shouldn’t have an impact on your body’s ability to build an immune response to the flu, even though it is fighting an illness.

    NHS guidance says you should still attend your appointment even if you have a mild illness, including a common cold.

    If you have Covid symptoms, are self-isolating or waiting for your coronavirus test result, you should not attend your appointment.

    It’s easy to rearrange your slot through the booking system.

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