Sajid Javid: Further Covid restrictions in England an 'absolute last resort'

1 January 2022, 23:14

Sajid Javid said further restrictions would only be used as a 'last resort'
Sajid Javid said further restrictions would only be used as a 'last resort'. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Sajid Javid has said more coronavirus restrictions in England which would curb people's freedom 'must be an absolute last resort.'

The Health Secretary said that despite record daily positive cases, the number of patients in intensive care remains stable and the UK must look at 'living alongside' the virus in 2022.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Mr Javid warned of a big increase in the number of people needing NHS care in the next month.

He said: "Curbs on our freedom must be an absolute last resort and the British people rightly expect us to do everything in our power to avert them.

Read more: Omicron rules explained: Where to wear face masks and when to self-isolate

"Since I came into this role six months ago, I've also been acutely conscious of the enormous health, social and economic costs of lockdowns.

"So I've been determined that we must give ourselves the best chance of living alongside the virus and avoiding strict measures in the future."

On Friday 189,846 new COVID-19 cases were recorded in the latest 24-hour period - a new high in the pandemic.

A further 203 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, the government said.

Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics showed 174,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

There were 2,370 Covid-19 hospital admissions in England on December 2, NHS England data shows.

This is up 90 per cent week on week and is the highest number since January 29.

During the second wave of coronavirus, admissions peaked at 4,134 on January 12.

So far, 51,771,384 people have had a first dose of a covid vaccine in the UK, 47,412,181 have had two doses, and 33,924,738 have had a booster or third dose.