THERE won’t be any more “irresponsible” Covid lockdowns and Brits WILL get to celebrate Christmas this year, Sajid Javid has vowed.
The Health Secretary told Brits that they would be able to enjoy the festivities without the fear of another lockdown – after last year’s disastrous last-minute U-turn.
The Health Sec told Brits ‘of course we get Christmas’[/caption]
Asked whether Brits will be able to enjoy the holidays this year, Sajid Javid told the BBC: “Of course we get Christmas!
“I’m not anticipating any more lockdowns. I think it would be irresponsible for any health minister around the world to take everything off the table.
“I just don’t see how we’d get another lockdown.”
Just days before December 25 last year, Boris Johnson cancelled Christmas bubbles in London and in parts of the southeast and east of England as the regions were plunged into new Tier 4 coronavirus restrictions.
He said in a solemn speech last year: “Given the early evidence we have on this new variant of the virus, and the potential risk it poses, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you we cannot continue with Christmas as planned.”
The cancelled Christmas period was then followed by a total national lockdown, which started in January.
But the Health Sec has vowed that Brits won’t have to fear the chance of being thrown into a “draconian” lockdown again.
This comes as the Health Secretary revealed this morning that Covid jab passports won’t be introduced as a measure to fight the virus as we enter the winter months.
He told the BBC today: “I am pleased to say that we will not be going ahead with plans for vaccine passports.”
The Health Secretary said it was “absolutely right” of the Government to have looked into it, and that the idea will be “kept in the reserves” rather than implemented.
Most read in The Sun
Javid added that he “instinctively does not like the idea of people having to show passports to do basic things.”
Just days ago, the Health Sec refused to rule out vaccine passports for pubs, clubs and restaurants — but denied there would be a firebreak lockdown in October.
And on Friday Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden hinted that they would be “further extending” the use of Covid ID beyond just nightclubs and large indoor venues.
But now in a dramatic U-turn, the Health Secretary confirmed that Covid certification won’t be in the Government’s armour as we battle the virus in the winter.
Boris Johnson is now primed to announce at a press conference that he has abandoned the proposed compulsory certification scheme – which would have forced venues to check punter’s vaccine status.
This comes as No 10 is preparing to unveil contingency plans next week for keeping the economy open this winter if there is a Covid surge.
The PM is expected to say that vaccines will continue to be the first line of defence over the autumn and winter – a high-risk time for Covid as other respiratory illnesses circulate.
The independent Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation is also poised to recommend details of a jab booster programme next week so that Brits are protected in the coming months.
Those who are vulnerable may receive their boosters as early as this month.
Several other countries – including the US, Israel, Hungary, Germany and France – have announced or have already started third dose programmes for some of their citizens.
Another major step set to be revealed is that the powers held to shut down swathes of the economy and impose limits on gatherings and events will be repealed.
The temporary closing or limiting access to schools and powers to detain infectious people under the Coronavirus Act — called draconian by some Tory MPs — are no longer seen as necessary.
Downing Street views vaccines as the country’s “first line of defence” as we enter autumn and look to winter.
But there are still fears across Whitehall of Covid circulating alongside flu — while the threat of a new variant concerns ministers.
Mr Johnson said: “Thanks to the efforts of the public, the NHS and our phenomenal vaccination programme, we reached Step 4 in our road map and life has returned to a sense of normality.
‘NO MORE LOCKDOWNS’
“These extraordinary times required necessary but intrusive measures. But I’m determined to get rid of any powers we no longer need because of our vaccine defences.
“I will set out the next phase in our Covid response shortly.”
The move follows a review by the chief medical officers (CMOs) of all four UK nations, led by professor Chris Whitty.
Last week, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said children would receive only marginal health benefits, although it did consider the benefits of keeping kids in school.
In response to this, the UK’s chief medical officers have been drawing up advice for the Government on whether children aged 12 to 15 should be vaccinated.
We pay for your stories!
Do you have a story for The Sun news desk?