'No guarantees': Health Sec refuses to rule out school closures in fight against Omicron

13 December 2021, 08:44

Sajid Javid could not say schools would not be closed again
Sajid Javid could not say schools would not be closed again. Picture: LBC/Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has refused to rule out closing schools to protect the country from a wave of cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Speaking to Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, Mr Javid said he 'didn't want to see' the closure of schools but said he was unable to give guarantees.

"I don't want to see that or any of these kinds of measures," he told LBC.

"I think I'd say this... if you're asking me for guarantees, I will just say - as the health secretary of course, I'm not the education secretary, as the health secretary - there are, when it comes to our fight against this pandemic, there are no guarantees.

Read more: PM opens booster jabs to all adults in England as he warns 'Omicron tidal wave is coming'

Read more: Covid-19 booster jabs: Who is eligible and how can you book?

"But what we do know that works is, in this case, a booster shot of a vaccine.

"This vaccine still is incredibly effective with a booster shot and that's why we're so focussed on it."

Mr Javid said the country had been "thrown off course" by the new variant, and said we needed to "get back on course and start winning with our vaccines again".

He said the NHS may need to postpone planned surgeries and non-urgent appointments in order to free up resources for the booster rollout, and said civil servants, military personnel and volunteers would be drafted in to help.

Read more: Work from home guidance reintroduced in England amid spiralling Omicron cases

Read more: Labour tells PM to 'fess up' over whether he "lied to country" over No10 events

"We are in another race against the virus," he said.

"We must get more booster jabs out there without delay... they were important before, but they have never, ever been so important.

"This is our best way of dealing with this new variant, and please do come forward to protect yourselves, to protect your loved ones and your community."

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

Ben Wallace said Putin was a 'lunatic'

Putin a 'lunatic with small man syndrome' says minister as PM blasts 'toxic masculinity'

Russian invasion of Ukraine made Nato 'look again' at military capability, says defence chief

Russian invasion of Ukraine made Nato 'look again' at military capability, says defence chief

There's an 'ethical and political vacuum in No10', says former chief of staff

There's an 'ethical and political vacuum in No10', says former chief of staff

Nick Ferrari grilled Priti Patel on her Rwanda migrant plan.

Rwanda migrant plan is not 'appalling' but 'should be a deterrent', Priti Patel tells LBC

Exclusive
Lord Bilimoria, outgoing president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) speaks to Nick Ferrari at Breakfast.

'Reduce taxes now': Outgoing CBI chief calls on Rishi to slash 'highest taxes in 70 years'

Grant Shapps has criticised the RMT leader Mick Lynch.

Rail strike called under 'false pretences' by RMT's '1970s union baron' boss, says Shapps

Ofgem chief warns price cap hike 'could be more' than predicted £800

Ofgem chief warns price cap hike 'could be more' than predicted £800

Exclusive
The chairman of Network Rail Sir Peter Hendy has told LBC the industry can be run more effectively with fewer staff.

'Steam age' railway can be run more effectively with fewer staff, rail boss says

Rail strikes will cause "misery for millions"

'Driving unrest and stoking unrealistic expectations': Minister slams RMT ahead of strikes

'What's the point of advisors?!': Nick Ferrari baffled by resignation of Lord Geidt

'What's the point of advisors?!': Nick Ferrari baffled by resignation of Lord Geidt

The minister was speaking to LBC 's Nick Ferrari

Minister calls on Mayor of London to drop congestion charge on rail strike days

Nick reacts to the cancellation of the Rwanda flight

'Who runs Britain?': Nick Ferrari slams 'lefty lawyers' for 'holding UK hostage'

Exclusive
High Court judge has ruled Archie's treatment should be stopped and his life support turned off

'He won't give up': Archie Battersbee's mum vows to fight ruling to end son's life

RMT boss can't rule out general strike and warns 'rich have never been richer'

RMT chief doesn't rule out general strike and says 'rich have never been richer'

Exclusive
The Prime Minister was speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari

Boris Johnson says he is 'bringing in tax cuts as fast as we can'

Exclusive
Boris Johnson defended the government's Rwanda migrant plans

'It’s the government’s job': PM hits back at Charles in Rwanda migrants flights row