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Coronavirus UK: Boris Johnson due to set out 'winter plan' at press conference
13 September 2021, 06:34 | Updated: 14 September 2021, 11:08
The Prime Minister is set to unveil his plans for tackling Covid-19 this winter later today. New measures are expected to be announced in a press conference at 4pm after they are announced to MPs in the Commons.
The measures are aimed at avoiding any return to national lockdowns, positioning the UK an outlier compared to other countries, many of which have seen repeated use of them as a tool to curb the spread of the virus.
But what are the plans expected to be announced by Boris Johnson?
No more lockdowns?
The Prime Minister is reportedly going to make clear he is 'dead set' against any more national lockdowns as part of his winter plan.
He is expected to tell MPs and the country that "we need to learn to live with Covid" and that vaccines would provide the main defence, not further national lockdowns.
The PM wants to rely on the UK's vaccination programme to help combat any winter surge. Third doses are to be rolled out from the autumn starting with the most elderly and vulnerable.
Vaccinations for children are also set to proceed, and autumn booster jabs will also be rolled out pending approval from scientific advisers.
The traffic travel light system is set to be completely overhauled and possibly scrapped entirely.
The red list of countries is to be reduced, and PCR tests are unlikely to be needed for double vaccinated travellers.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said on Sunday that there was a "whole toolbox" of measures in place to help control Covid, but that vaccine passports would not be one of them.
In the latest of the Government's coronavirus U-turns, Mr Javid announced plans to introduce vaccine passports in England for nightclubs and other crowded venues had been scrapped.
They will be introduced in Scotland for nightclubs and large venues next month.
What could come back?
The government is likely to keep some measures in reserve that may need to be used if hospital admissions rise.
Working from home, mandatory mask wearing, and vaccine passports could come into use if the virus does take hold again this winter.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said yesterday it would be 'irresponsible to take everything off the table'.
The Health Secretary yesterday suggested that Christmas is likely to be allowed go ahead as normal this year. He said yesterday: "Of course we get Christmas. I’m not anticipating any more lockdowns. I just don’t see how we get to another lockdown.”
Celebrations were thwarted in 2020 due to the spread of the Alpha variant. It is not clear whether the Prime Minister will specifically address plans for gathering at Christmas during his press conference tomorrow.