The government has said that they cannot “rules anything out” over a potential lockdown after Christmas.
Scientists who advise the government have warned that the UK will see a “really large wave of Omicron” with deaths over the next few months.
Professor John Edmunds, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said, “We’re getting large numbers of cases and that will result in a large number of hospitalisations and, unfortunately, it will result in a large number of deaths, I’m pretty sure of that.
“What happens next? It’s pretty clear the virus hasn’t done with evolution. It’s going to continue to evolve.”
Asked if the government had a “Plan C” should the situation deteriorate and if this will include another lockdown, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister said nothing can be ruled out at this stage.
“We think this is the right, ‘Plan B’ is a sensible proportionate step, given what we know about the characterises variants at this stage,” the spokesperson said on Thursday.
“The prime minister was clear yesterday that we will continue to keep our our response under review as we find out more about this variant, so we can’t rule anything out at this point.
“But we believe these are the right approach given them a balanced approach.”
Rowland Kao, professor of epidemiology and data science at Edinburgh University warned the UK needs to “act quickly” to reduce the spread of Omicron.
Speaking to Sky News, Professor Kao said, “I think the really important thing to remember about the Omicron variant isn’t so much the number of cases it’s causing right now but the rate at which it is spreading.
“If we are going to do anything to reduce the spread we need to do it quickly, we essentially need to do it now.”