“No Further Measures” Before New Year, Says Health Secretary Sajid Javid

Health Secretary, Sajid Javid says there will be no further Covid restrictions in England before the New year.

The health secretary has said however, that people should “remain cautious” and celebrate outside on New Year’s Eve if possible.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said ministers would “continue to monitor the data carefully” and urged people to get their “first, second or booster jab without delay”.

Meanwhile, both England and Scotland have reported record cases over the Christmas break.

The latest data showed there were 113,628 new infections reported in England on 25 December, 103,558 on 26 December and 98,515 on 27 December. Provisional data for Scotland for the same three-day period showed there were 8,252 cases on Christmas Day, with 11,030 the following day and 10,562 on Monday.

Only partial Covid data for the UK has been published over the Christmas period, and full figures will be published later this month.

Watch the Sky News report with Mr Javid here:

Dr Sarah Pitt, a virologist at the University of Brighton, told the BBC the cases data was “likely to be an underestimate” for several reasons, including people being less inclined to come forward for a test on Christmas Day and data processing delays over the festive season.

The decision not to introduce new measures in England comes a day after the prime minister was briefed by England’s chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.

It puts England out of step with the rest of the UK nations; as Wales has already introduced restrictions, while Scotland and Northern Ireland have both tightened rules for a second day — with hospitality venues returning to table service only and social distancing returning in several settings.

Mr Javid said: “When we get into the new year, of course we will see then whether we do need to take any further measures, but nothing more until then at least.”