UK gov't "mulls COVID plan C" to keep economy open amid warning new daily cases may reach 100,000
Downing Street is still hesitating to enforce its Plan B strategy for tackling the spread of the disease
UK government ministers are said to be considering elements of a potential plan C if COVID-19 cases continue to surge amid a lethargic vaccine booster rollout, Qazet.az reports citing The Telegraph.
Members of the Cabinet Office's coronavirus taskforce reportedly do not rule out bringing back the measures, including a ban on households mixing, which were in place for a significant period of last year. These “contingency” proposals are ostensibly being considered as a last-ditch effort to relieve pressure on the National Health Service (NHS) and dodge a shutdown of the economy, if a winter plan B is introduced, yet fails to be sufficient.
“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,” a Whitehall source was cited as saying by the outlet.
While plan A – currently in place – is rooted in encouraging COVID-19 boosters and flu jabs, ministers had published a potential coronavirus “Plan B” in September. It presupposed possible mandatory vaccine passports, legally obligated face coverings in some settings and recommendations to work from home, if the NHS was found to be facing “unsustainable pressure”.
Downing Street is still hesitating to enforce its Plan B strategy for tackling the spread of the disease.
Reports of a possible plan C looming come amid concerns that people are most likely to experience prolonged exposure to the respiratory virus within their home environment. This is further compounded by fears that the currently high incidents of COVID among teenagers and children could result in a surge of cases among the older adult community.
If a plan C were to come into force, sources suggest it would offer UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson an opportunity to allow businesses to stay open, thus avoiding crippling the economy. According to sources, the plan C discussions are at an early stage. Furthermore, it was added that the proposals will not be automatically set in place if a Plan B was set in motion but fell through.