Johnson in the UK rejects health chief’s request to limit socialization through Omicron variants

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has rejected the health minister’s call to not socialize if it does not need to be socialized for Christmas.

In response to the potential threat posed by the Omicron COVID-19 variant, the UK Government has re-imposed rules requiring face covering in stores and public transport, but has not extended restrictions to the hospitality sector. It was.

Earlier on Tuesday, Dr. Jenny Harries, Head of Health and Security in the United Kingdom, said that people would slow the spread of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant by reducing the number of social contacts they have. I said I could do it even a little.

“A little reduction in social contact for all of us helps keep variants away,” she told the BBC Radio 4 Today program.

Harry’s remarks sparked protests from hospitality leaders, warning that such messages “would have a negative impact on the business.”

Kate Nicholls, CEO of the UK Hospitality industry group, said the “cool talks” could hit the sector ahead of the busiest times, with some customers already “cancelling” bookings. And change the plan, “he added.

In response to this line, Downing Street supported the business and claimed that the official guidance on socialization was “no change.”

Asked if Harry’s views were shared by the Prime Minister, Johnson’s official spokesman said: The advice to the public is as set on the weekend. We advised face covers and inward travelers, as well as those identified as having the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. Beyond that, we haven’t set any further guidance for the general public. “

A spokesman said the Prime Minister was completely confident in Harry’s, but emphasized that she was an adviser, not a minister, and was not speaking for the government.

Later, when Johnson visited a clinic in northern London, he was directly asked if he would agree with Harry’s.

He replied: “I think Jenny is right. We’ve been suffering from a pandemic for a long time. Make sure people have a lot of fresh air, wash their hands, take them, and so on. I have to continue. The usual precautions, I think it’s perfectly reasonable, but I’m not going to change the overall guidance. I don’t think it’s necessary. “

The government has not seen anything that suggests that a backup strategy, so-called Plan B, that includes measures such as vaccine passports should be adopted.

“But all we have to do is take special precautions against Omicron until we know exactly what threats Omicron can pose,” he says. I did.

PA contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan