All you need to know about the possibilty of a Christmas lockdown

The prime minister has refused to rule out a Christmas lockdown.

The NHS is already struggling with the weight of coronavirus cases and the government's backup plan, 'plan B', exists to be put in place should a crisis occur.

According to the Mirror, Boris Johnson's cabinet was told "we are still not out of the woods and we cannot be complacent."

Plan B could go ahead — although this is not the same as a full lockdown.

Plan B simply places certain restrictions on things and reintroduces some of the measures we became used to at the start of the pandemic.

Deaths from the coronavirus are currently at around 1,000 per week.

Lockdown or plan B would be put in place to stop the NHS getting overwhelmed with rising cases.

So will we have a lockdown over Christmas?

Will there be a Christmas lockdown?

Currently, it is difficult to predict and the government is known for making u-turns on this very stance.

But the winter months are expected to be harder.

Colds and the flu are generally more common at this time of year and viruses like Covid-19 might be easier to spread because people prefer to sit warm indoors.

The PM previously ruled out the possibility of a lockdown, but he has now changed his tune and switched to a stance of "not ruling anything out."

What would a Christmas lockdown look like?

The government doesn't want to introduce a Christmas lockdown — a full lockdown would look a lot like what we have experienced already.

Schools could be shut and staff might be furloughed.

They could also reintroduce social bubbles.

Reasons for leaving your home would be limited to daily exercise, medical appointments and necessary trips to the shop.

But all of this remains unlikely.

What is plan B?

The plan would be implemented in England if cases of the virus rise dramatically.

The major development would be the controversial 'vaccine passports', where people must show they have received a vaccine and cannot rely on showing a recent negative test.

Passports would be in place in all nightclubs, and other venues open after 1am with alcohol, music, and dancing, as well as for sporting events and indoor and outdoor shows.

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Schools have a "contingency framework", where cases are monitored locally and would reintroduce compulsory mask-wearing if need be.

Some settings, like public transport and shops, would require face masks again but this would be decided at the time.

People would be asked to work from home if they can.

How can we stop a Christmas lockdown?

It all depends on cases and we may reach a point where experts advise that this is the safest option.

Whether the government chooses to follow the advice is another matter, but they do seem to be using the current uncertainty to encourage people to get their booster jab.

According to recent data, the UK has given out a total of over 110 million vaccinations.

13.5 million of these have been the booster jab, which is key to boosting immunity against the virus.

You are eligible for a booster if you are over 50, or aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts you at high risk from Covid-19.

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