Covid announcement LIVE: MPs yell at Sajid Javid as ANOTHER face mask rule change made

Sajid Javid confirms NHS will offer booster vaccines

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Speaking in the House of Commons today, Sajid Javid has revealed the details of the Government’s winter plan to manage the pandemic. Mr Javid says the government has created a “plan B” in case things get worse in winter. The plan involves the possible “legal mandating for face coverings in certain settings” and working from home guidance being reinstated.

“Any responsible government must prepare for all eventualities,” he tells MPs – some of whom make clear their disapproval of the proposals with jeering and booing.

The health secretary said that, this winter, people should be: “wearing a face mask in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet”.

PCR and lateral flow Covid tests will continue to be available free of charge, says health secretary

The health secretary has confirmed Covid tests will continue to be offered free of charge as we move into next year. 

Jonathan Ashworth raised the question on whether people would be expected to pay for PCR testing next spring and summer.

The health secretary says PCR tests will continue to be available free of charge, as will symptom-free lateral flow tests.

He notes that they identify “a quarter of all cases”.

Mr Javid says the government “are not going ahead with any plans” related to vaccine passports – but “keeping it in reserve is the right thing to do”.

Labour demands clarity on vaccine passports

Labour has demanded clarification on the position of the government on vaccine passports.

“Rather than zig-zagging all over the place on vaccine passports, can we please have clarity?” he said.

Last week, Scottish parliament voted to introduce vaccine passports to some venues, including nightclubs. 

The Scottish vaccine passports will come into effect from October 1. 

The Conservative government backtracked on the controversial measures after a hostile reception to the suggestion. 

Ashworth questions Javid’s flu strategy

The shadow health secretary has asked Sajid Javid if he would look at “multiplex testing” which would diagnose flu alongside COVID-19.

Mr Javid responded by saying that flu poses a “highly significant risk this year”.

The flu vaccine “has less efficacy as normal”, he admitted, but encourages people to take up the offer of the jab.

Jonathan Ashworth grills Sajid Javid on ‘plan B’ Covid restrictions

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth has grilled Sajid Javid over his announcement of a ‘plan B’ for Covid restrictions as we head into the winter months. 

Mr Ashworth questioned what level of infection would trigger the change in restrictions. 

Mr Javid responded by saying the tighter restrictions would come into force if the “pressures” on the NHS became “unsustainable”.

The health secretary said: “It is really important to emphasise the importance of vaccines”.

He pointed out that in the first half of this year 99 percent of the people who died with Covid were not double vaccinated.

Sajid Javid confirms vaccinations for 12 – 15 year olds

The health secretary said: “I have accepted the unanimous recommendation from the UK Chief Medical Officers to offer vaccination to those aged 12 to 15.

“This will protect young people from catching COVID-19, reduce transmission in schools and help keep pupils in the classroom.”

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