Govt readies Covid winter plan including return of masks and social distancing

Boris Johnson is reportedly set to announce the government's Covid winter plan with a focus on "contingency" measures which could see the return of some nationwide restrictions if cases continue to rise.

Face masks and social distancing could once again become mandatory though the PM is determined to avoid another lockdown following the successes of the vaccination rollout, it is claimed.

The PM is expected to mention the introduction of Covid booster injections which are said to be recommended for the elderly and vulnerable, government sources claim.

Boris is also set to announce the biggest ever flu jab campaign on Tuesday, September 14, which will be rolled out at the same time in an effort to tackle illness this winter.

A Government source told The Guardian: “There’s a great deal of uncertainty about what’s going to happen. We need to be prepared, we need to have options ready to go.

"But we’ve got confidence in our vaccine programme, we’ll have more details on boosters and hopefully kids next week, and we’ll make sure we go into the winter fully prepared.”

Alongside the contingency restrictions such as the reintroduction of masks and social distancing measures, offices may also have to close again to prevent the spread of the virus if the NHS becomes overwhelmed.

An official spokesman for Mr Johnson told the Guardian that the nation should be ready for the NHS to face a “difficult time” this winter.

No. 10 are said to prefer the reintroduction of masks over social distancing measures as it has a less direct impact on the economy, the Daily Telegraph reports.

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Covid restriction laws are also being extended until next spring, meaning that fines could return for people who ignore orders to wear masks in certain settings.

Johnson is also expected to announce vaccines for children age 12 to 15 and the introduction of Covid passports to gain access to large venues such as nightclubs.

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