Authorities say October lockdown shall be a ‘final resort’ to guard NHS

There aren’t any plans for a “firebreak” lockdown in October, the federal government mentioned at the moment, describing such measures “a final resort”.

It had been reported that ministers have been contemplating emergency lockdown plans over the half-term faculty holidays subsequent month.

The prime minister’s official spokesman mentioned it was “not true”, including: “Now we have retained contingency plans as a part of accountable planning for a spread of situations, however these sort of measures would solely be reintroduced as a final resort to forestall unsustainable strain on our NHS.

“I feel we’ve been clear all through that we’ll take motion, and certainly we now have completed when mandatory to guard our NHS.

“However beneath the earlier events when that motion has been required, we now have been with out the numerous defences that our vaccination programme gives us — we’re now in a a lot totally different section.”

The i newspaper reported an nameless member of the federal government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) saying contingency plans had been drawn up within the face of latest rises in hospital admissions and instances.

They mentioned the plan — just like one it proposed final 12 months — would make sure the NHS was not overwhelmed by an “prolonged peak” of instances within the coming weeks.

It might contain extending the half-term faculty holidays to a fortnight, relatively than every week, they steered.

“It might be wise to have contingency plans, and if a lockdown is required, to time it in order that it has minimal financial and societal influence,” they mentioned.

“We’re going to be at a peak, albeit an prolonged peak, fairly quickly, so it’s not likely the identical state of affairs as final 12 months, when failure to scale back prevalence would have resulted in collapse of the NHS and other people dying in automotive parks.

“Hospitals is perhaps overflowing earlier than deaths attain the identical stage. Appearing early will stop this stage.”

Earlier this morning, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi had instructed BBC Breakfast that he had not seen any such plan. “No, I haven’t seen any … I do know the place this query comes from. The i newspaper was reporting that they suppose there might be a potential lockdown,” he mentioned.

“Vaccines have given us the flexibility to scale back infections, to avoid wasting 100,000 lives.

“It’s by the booster programme that I hope … we are able to transition the virus from pandemic to endemic standing and take care of it 12 months in, 12 months out. It will be with us for a few years — however [we will] not have to shut down our economic system or take the extreme measures we needed to sadly soak up December of final 12 months.”

Government say October lockdown will be a ‘last resort’ to protect NHS