The prime minister Boris Johnson today (September 14) revealed the government’s plan to manage Covid throughout autumn and winter, which includes offering booster jabs to millions.
He outlined a Plan A – promoting vaccines and continuing testing and isolation rules, and Plan B – to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed.
In England, the number of hospital admissions with Covid has remained relatively stable over the last month owing to the success of the vaccination programme
Over autumn and winter, the government will aim to sustain this progress through:
- Building our defences through pharmaceutical interventions
- Identifying and isolating positive cases to limit transmission
- Supporting the NHS and social care
- Advising people on how to protect themselves and others
- Pursuing an international approach
The plan noted commencement of booster vaccine program from this month to boost immunity amongst the most vulnerable groups during winter.
It added that the Test, Trace and Isolate programme will continue, with symptomatic PCR testing continuing throughout the autumn and winter.
Besides, the lateral flow tests will remain free of charge but at a later stage, individuals and businesses will be expected to bear the cost.
Self-isolation norms for the Covid positive and their unvaccinated contacts along with the financial support payment for them will continue until the end of March.
Plan B would include:
- Introducing mandatory vaccine only Covid status certification in certain, riskier settings.
- Legally mandating face coverings in certain settings, such as public transport and shops.
- Communicating clearly and urgently to the public if the risk level increases.
The plan further stated that the government could ask people to work from home again if required, depending on the latest data.
However, it acknowledged that such restrictions cause disruption to individuals and businesses.
The key motive of Plan B is to protect NHS.
The prime minister stressed that the combined efforts of the public and the vaccination programme would help in avoiding the Plan B and protecting freedoms in the coming months.