UK lockdown fears grow as urgent Cobra meeting over Omicron variant held today

An emergency Cobra meeting is set to go ahead today as leaders from across the UK will meet to discuss the surge in Omicron cases with fears of a lockdown growing.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid today warned that he would not rule out festive restrictions as Omicron cases continue to increase across Britain.

People in England were warned that they faced an abrupt coronavirus crackdown after Boxing Day under new plans began to be drawn up in Whitehall.

But Mr Javid's latest comments are expected to meet opposition this afternoon during the meeting.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Wales' First Minister Mark Drakeford are understood to be to joining Whitehall ministers for the meeting.

It is understood neither Prime Minister Boris Johnson nor Rishi Sunak will be at the meeting, set to be chaired instead by Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay, The Sun reports.

Mr Barclay is expected to brief the UK's devolved leaders, as well as Labour, on the latest data and the Government's next steps.

Dr Jenny Harries, UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) Chief Executive, previously said: “Once again, we urge everyone who is able to get a booster jab to come forward and do so. It is the best defence we have against this highly transmissible new variant."

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Mr Javid confirmed that a record 906,656 jabs were delivered across the country yesterday – including over 830,000 boosters.

It comes after 90,418 daily Covid cases were reported yesterday and Omicron cases were up another 10,059 to 24,968 in total.

Sage members have reportedly told the government that waiting until after Christmas to impose Covid measures is not an option if they want to keep the NHS from becoming overwhelmed.

The group expects more than 3,000 hospitalisations a day come January, with daily infections and deaths on the rise.

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