Coronavirus winter 'Plan C' could see households banned from mixing

21 October 2021, 07:39 | Updated: 21 October 2021, 07:51

Heart reporter

By Heart reporter

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A contingency plan is reportedly being made if coronavirus cases continue to rise in the UK.

Brits could be banned from mixing with other households under a potential ‘Plan C’ for winter, reports suggest.

According to The Telegraph, the proposals would also see face masks return, people ordered to work from home and the use of vaccine passports enforced.

At a government press conference yesterday, Health Secretary Sajid Javid warned that coronavirus cases could reach 100,000 a day over the next few months.

Sajid Javid spoke at Downing Street
Sajid Javid spoke at Downing Street. Picture: Alamy

He also urged the public to keep taking precautions such as meeting outdoors, wearing masks and regular testing.

But he insisted that the Government is not yet considering reverting to a Covid winter ‘Plan B’, which would involve tougher restrictions.

Despite the Health Secretary ruling out any new lockdown measures for now, some officials are thought to be discussing a potential ‘Plan C’.

If pressure on hospitals continues, The Telegraph reports this would see gatherings between different households banned.

Mandatory face masks could return
Mandatory face masks could return. Picture: Alamy

A Whitehall source told the publication: “The focus is very much on measures that can be taken without a major economic impact, so keeping shops, pubs and restaurants open but looking at other ways to reduce the risks.”

The discussions are said to be in the 'early stages,' with insiders saying it formed part of contingency planning.

Similar measures were used over the festive period last year, with people banned from meeting indoors.

This rule was lifted in May for the first time since the New Year, with most Covid restrictions axed on July 19 on so called 'Freedom Day'.

Meanwhile, Mr Javid told Brits not to ‘blow it’, urging everyone who is eligible for a booster jab to come forward.

He ​said: “We must all play our part in this national mission, and think about what we can do to make a difference. That means getting the jab when the time comes, whether it’s for Covid-19 or flu.”

He went on to say people should think about using Covid lateral flow tests before meeting up with friends and family at parties, while also opening windows to keep a flow of fresh air.

This comes after the government ruled out a return to full national lockdowns, with Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng saying these restrictions won’t return.

He said any calls for another lockdown are ‘unhelpful’ and insisted Brits should be looking forward to more normal Christmas this year.

But Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation which represents health bodies, warned 'we risk stumbling into a winter crisis' unless stricter measures are introduced now.

He called for ministers to come up with tougher restrictions to address pressure on the health service.