Sajid Javid to hold 5pm press conference after NHS chiefs called for Covid ‘Plan B’

20 October 2021, 12:32 | Updated: 20 October 2021, 15:03

Sajid Javid will give the update on Wednesday afternoon
Sajid Javid will give the update on Wednesday afternoon. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Health Secretary Sajid Javid is set to give a major Covid update in a Downing Street press conference at 5pm.

It will mark the first press conference on coronavirus in five weeks, following the lifting of restrictions across the country.

Mr Javid is expected to insist that there is no need for any restrictions to be introduced as of yet, despite a rise in cases, hospitalisations and deaths.

He will also address booster vaccinations - urging over-50s to get the jab - and the work of the Antivirals Taskforce.

However, it is expected to come with a stark warning that Covid 'Plan B' - which would mean the return of face masks, working from home, and vaccine passports - will not yet be ruled out completely for the winter months.

Read more: Government must enforce Covid 'Plan B' to avoid winter crisis, says NHS chief

Read more: Sajid Javid warns of 'tough winter' as No10 'closely' monitors new covid variant

It comes after Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told LBC that another Covid lockdown was "not going to happen".

"We’ve worked really hard to get to the point that we could actually open up the economy,” he said.

"We’ve got a fast growing economy, people getting back to work, getting back to normal life.

"I think any talk of lockdowns is just not at all helpful and it’s not going to happen."

Read more: Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng: Another Covid lockdown is “not going to happen”

However, England's chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, reminded people of the looming crisis that winter could still bring.

"Covid-19 cases are rising and winter is drawing closer," he said.

"1) If you have not been vaccinated, now is the time. 2) If you are offered a booster please take up the offer. 3) Ventilation, masks in crowded indoor spaces and hand washing remain important."