UK Government Will Not Introduce New Restrictions for Covid-19 This Year

The new year is coming up and residents of the UK would be expecting a new regulation addressing the new year’s events but that is not the case this time. Sajid Javid, British health minister, confirmed this statement on the 27th of December.

Javid said that there will be no further measures before this new year and when they get into the new year, of course, they will see then whether they need to take any further measures. 

Though new restrictions are not set in motion, Javid cautioned citizens to celebrate new year's eve as safely as possible, after he mentioned the highly transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19 that accounts for over 90% of the total cases in England.

Although it is highly transmittable, compared to its predecessors, it has relatively lower health effects. Because of his highly transferable nature, the number of patients at the hospital has been the highest since March of this year.

Unlike its neighbors, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, England has no plans of introducing new rules regarding COVID-19 this year. When asked about this, Health minister Sajid Javid said that it is for each government to make a decision.

Each of the three countries that introduced new restrictions have different rules in accordance with their situation but they all have placed a limit on the number of people that can gather in one venue. All three restrictions also include social distancing and strict regulations for venues like pubs and bars.

From the 26th of December, Scotland has issued new rules that state the following:

- A total of 200 people sitting or a hundred people standing for indoor events.

- At public events, a social distance of one meter is a must.

- Social fathering venues such as restaurants, cinema halls, pubs, gyms, and theaters will have to maintain at least a meter of distance between the present groups.

- A maximum of three households for groups of people meeting.

Similarly, the country of Wales has also introduced some rules and they seem to be stricter than Scotland’s. The rules include the following.

- A maximum of six people can meet at restaurants, pubs, and cinemas.

- Indoor events can have a maximum of 30 people. This also applies to private home events.

- The outdoor events are to be held for a maximum of 50 people at once.

- A social distance of at least two meters is a must in offices and public places.

- Nightclubs cannot operate.

Northern Ireland has also introduced their own set of regulations. The regulations are as follows:

- Table services only for hospitality venues all across Northern Ireland.

- A maximum of six people in a group and dancing is restrained but this does not apply to a wedding.

- A maximum of three households can gather together.

- Employees at offices must maintain a social distance of two meters.

- No limits for sporting events but the fans who are specifically traveling to watch matches are discouraged to share a car ride.

- Large indoor standing events and nightclubs cannot operate.

Privately owned businesses in all three countries are struggling. They were already down since the lockdown and due to the limitations caused by the COVID-19 regulations. Now that they are faced with further limitations that discourage people from going out, business owners are complaining about the new rules.

British Prime Minister Borris Johnson himself holds out against new restrictions against COVID-19. Prime Minister Borris Johnson met with his advisers on the 27th of December. During the meeting, concluded that new measures are not necessary. He mentioned that if the number of infected individuals plummets, they will not hold back to apply new restrictions.

The Prime Minister of the UK tweeted a day later regarding the monitoring of the data and no plans of introducing restrictions. He further added in the following tweet.

Health minister Sajid Javid also said something similar, that they will watch carefully what is happening in the hospitals. Should, in the future, they need to act, of course, they will not hesitate to do so. He also stated that he and his team of concerned authorities review the data regarding COVID-19 daily.

The health secretary also went on to state that everyone should be cautious during the new year’s celebration. Taking a lateral flow test is also recommended if that makes sense. He further added that people can celebrate outdoors if they want to, and also advised them to remain cautious.

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