Will England go into another lockdown in winter 2021?
19 October 2021, 11:29 | Updated: 19 October 2021, 15:09
Will there be another lockdown in 2021? Everything we know about whether England restrictions could return.
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Lockdown in England was officially lifted in England in July, but there have been some concerns that measures could be reintroduced in winter 2021.
The end of lockdown saw all legal limits on social contact removed, as well as the reopening of things like festivals and nightclubs, and face masks were not longer mandatory.
On September 14 2021, the government announced their winter plan for dealing with the virus, with Health Secretary Sajid Javid saying: "We must be vigilant as autumn and winter are favourable conditions for Covid-19 and other seasonal viruses."
Mr Javid said that the government had a plan 'A' and 'B' to tackle Covid-19 this winter.
Plan A involves things like vaccines and testing, while B is a contingency plan that could see the return of face masks and working from home, and would only be introduced if cases rise sufficiently.
The government has made no official statement on the return of a lockdown, but there have been concerns that it may come to that this winter.
Will there be a lockdown this winter?
When announcing the winter plan, the government did not mention a possible plan 'C' winter lockdown.
We therefore do not know whether there will be another lockdown or not.
The government hasn't completely ruled it out, however, and if the NHS gets close to the brink of collapse, or there is a new vaccine-resistant variant, it is possible that they may reconsider.
After unveiling the winter plan, Mr Javid said that the government had to "be vigilant" towards possible new strains of Covid-19.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast: "No one wants to see another lockdown, I certainly don’t. I don’t think we are going to need to see another lockdown. I think the vaccines are working.
"But I think it would be irresponsible for any health minister in the world to say that this or that is 100 per cent ruled out.
"Not least because I just don’t know whether at some time in the future – next year, the year after, the year after that – there might be a vaccine escape variant that doesn’t work with the current suite of vaccines."