The Prime Minister also plans to launch an advertising blitz to encourage people to get their flu inoculations. The Government believes that these two measures will prevent the NHS being overwhelmed with patients this winter. However, Number 10 will not hesitate to mandate vaccine passports, indoor masks and ask people to work from home again, if the measures fail to have the desired effect.
Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, told Times Radio that he will do all in his power to avoid a further shutdown of the economy.
“Of course we get Christmas,” he said.
“I’m not anticipating any more lockdowns. I just don’t see how we get to another lockdown.”
Mr Johnson is expected to confirm that he will not introduce vaccine passports, which will be seen as a major concession to backbench rebels.
Tory opponents of the scheme had argued vaccine passports would in effect create a group of second class citizens.
Under the scheme’s proposals, big venues would have had to check the vaccine status of their clients.
The Prime Minister abandoned the idea of vaccine passports, after scientists said vaccinations would provide adequate protection against a winter wave of the pandemic.
Mr Javid told Time Radio that vaccine passports were a “huge intrusion into people’s lives” that the government “will not be going ahead with”.
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However, they cautioned that there was still a lot of uncertainty as to how the virus would play out over the winter months.
Professor Stephen Holgate, a respiratory specialist from University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust, who chaired the report, told the BBC: “This is not a prediction – but it is a possibility.
“The modelling suggests that deaths could be higher with a new wave of Covid-19 this winter.”