'Blizzard' of Covid cases from Europe could derail Christmas, PM warns

15 November 2021, 13:19

Boris Johnson has urged people to get their booster vaccine in order to avoid a Covid "blizzard".
Boris Johnson has urged people to get their booster vaccine in order to avoid a Covid "blizzard". Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

A "blizzard" of Covid-19 cases from Europe could derail Christmas plans if people do not take up the offer of their booster jabs, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned.

Mr Johnson said there was a "storm of infection in Europe", but boosters were the UK's best chance at defence against another peak in figures.

It came despite the leader standing firm on Plan A as the country heads into winter, saying data showed Plan B was unnecessary.

The contingency measures previously set out included the return of mandatory mask-wearing, potential introduction of vaccine passports and working from home where possible.

Read more: Covid boosters to be offered to over 40s

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Speaking on a trip to a medical centre, Mr Johnson said: "We don't see anything in the data at the moment to suggest that we need to go to Plan B, we're sticking with Plan A.

"But what we have certainly got to recognise is there is a storm of infection out there in parts of Europe, you can see those numbers ticking up very sharply in some of our continental friends.

"And we've just got to recognise that there is always a risk that a blizzard could come from the east again, as the months get colder.

"The best protection for our country is for everybody to go forward and get their booster."

It comes as the Government has announced plans to expand the rollout of booster jabs to all over-40s, in the latest attempt to keep the virus under control.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has also recommended that 16 and 17 year olds be offered a second dose of the vaccine, after having initially only been offered one.

Some 12.6 million people have already had a third jab, with 75 per cent of those over 70 getting a booster, according to the Prime Minister.

He said: "The message is: anybody over 70, come forward, get your booster; anybody over 50, come forward and get your booster, and now, in the next week or so, anybody over 40 as well, come forward and get your booster."