UK Government Rejects Calls to Reintroduce COVID-19 Restrictions

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The UK government has rejected calls for COVID-19 restrictions to be reintroduced, saying that the number of hospital admissions and deaths are much lower than at the beginning of this year.

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents the whole health care system in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, on Tuesday urged the government to implement the so-called “Plan B,” a backup strategy that involves measures such as vaccine passports and mandatory face coverings in public places.

“It is time for the government to enact Plan B of its strategy without delay because without preemptive action, we risk stumbling into a winter crisis,” he said. “Also, health leaders need to understand what a ‘Plan C’ would entail if these measures are insufficient.”

But Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told “BBC Breakfast” on Wednesday that the return to normal life had been “very hard won” and the government does not “feel that it’s the time for Plan B right now.”

He told Sky News that discussions of more lockdowns or restrictions on holidays were “completely unhelpful.”

Despite apparently rising case numbers, he said “the critical thing” is about hospitalisations and deaths. “Thank God, those figures are much, much lower than they were, certainly, at the beginning of the year.”

Professor Stephen Reicher, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours, which feeds into the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), said the prospect of further lockdowns could not be discounted.

But Kwarteng told Sky News he would “rule out” a further lockdown.

“Throughout this process, there’ve been people saying the lockdown was unnecessary, there have been other people saying we should continue the lockdown,” he said, adding that the UK government had “plotted a path between those two extremes.”

He said the UK has “got the fastest-growing economy in the G-7” thanks to the government’s success in rolling out the vaccine and reopening the economy.

Downing Street said on Tuesday that the government had “no plans” to use the contingency measures set out in its strategy to contain the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus during the winter season.

“There are a number of different factors that would play into that decision,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said.

“Largely it would be required when there was a significant risk of the NHS being overwhelmed. We are not at that point,” he said.

Source: The Epochtimes

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