No10 dismisses 'Plan C' and denies plans for ban on Christmas household mixing

21 October 2021, 17:45

The Government has batted away suggestions it has a back-up plan banning Christmas mixing
The Government has batted away suggestions it has a back-up plan banning Christmas mixing. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Downing Street has denied a ban on household mixing at Christmas is being considered as it batted away speculation of a 'Plan C'.

The Government has pushed back against reports suggesting it is looking at plans for a possible "Plan C" if the NHS comes under increasing pressure this winter.

It comes after the Health Secretary Sajid Javid warned cases could spiral to 100,000 per day, as he urged people to step forward and take their booster jabs when offered.

Asked about "Plan C", the Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "I've seen the reporting this morning about household mixing - it's important to stress that neither ministers nor officials are working on these proposals. That is not accurate."

Health minister Maggie Throup maintained there is "more to do in Plan A" - by encouraging more people to have their first vaccine or booster jab - before changing the approach.

Read more: Health Minister: 'Go ahead' and book Christmas parties but come forward for booster jab

Read more: Javid's jabs plea: Health Sec says 'get your booster' as he rules out Covid Plan B

Government 'all over the shop' on mask-wearing, says Jonathan Ashworth

Plan B consists of contingency plans, which were prepared in the event that things once again took a turn for the worse.

The back-up plan would mean the return of certain restrictions such as lockdowns "as a last resort", legally mandating face coverings in certain settings, introducing vaccine passports and working from home.

Challenged by shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth in the Commons over the report, Ms Throup said: "He mentions Plan C. I saw that story earlier and I checked it out, and it's not a story that I know that has any foundation.

"We're always open to alternatives, that's quite rightly so. As a Government, it would be irresponsible of us not to be looking at every alternative.

"So I hope he's reassured that we're on Plan A and I encourage everybody to come forward for their booster jab, and those who haven't already had their jab should come forward. We want Plan A to be successful."

Earlier, Ms Throup said of Plan B: "None of us wish to implement these measures but they are clearly preferable to having to close businesses or enforcing further lockdowns.

"I recognise vaccine certification is of particular interest to my colleagues in this House and, as set out in our plan, we would seek to provide a vote in Parliament ahead of any regulations coming in."