Boris Johnson announced on Wednesday that England would start implementing and following the rules of Plan B to try to stop the spread of the latest Coronavirus mutation, Omicron. Many Brits are worried that there is a possibility that Christmas could be cancelled again this year due to the new orders. BBC Newsnight‘s Political Editor Nicholas Watts told presenter Emily Maitlis widespread discontent is spreading across the Conservative Party, with one former Tory minister suggesting it is time “to change prime minister”.
Some lifelong Tory voters have withdrawn their support this week after accusations of top MPs not following the rules they implemented for the rest of the UK, some have lost their trust in the PM altogether.
Speaking about one of these voters, Mr Watts said: “And then listen to this, this is from an original supporter of Boris Johnson who is also a strong Brexiteer.
“And this person said to me, former Minister said, the tectonic plates are shifting a lot of colleagues are saying, we need a reset and by that we mean a change of Prime Minister.
“I have just had enough it is mishap after mishap.”
Some of the new rules kick in from Friday, the PM announced that face masks must now be worn in public places, cinemas, and theatres.
And from Monday some Brits will have to start working from home again as the government has advised non-essential workers to stay home.
From Wednesday next week, the NHS vaccine passports will be necessary to enter indoor venues with more than 500 people, nightclubs, and venues with 4,000-10,000 people are only allowed to accept vaccinated people onto their premises.
In his announcement last night Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “It’s become increasingly clear that Omicron is growing much faster than the previous Delta variant, and it’s spreading rapidly all around the world.”
Speaking about the new variant , Mr Johnson said: “So while the picture may get better, and I sincerely hope it will, we know that the remorseless logic of exponential growth could lead to a big rise in hospitalisations and therefore, sadly, in deaths.”
“That’s why it is now the proportionate and the responsible thing to move to Plan B in England while continuing to work closely with our colleagues in the devolved administrations, so we slow the spread of the virus, buy ourselves the time to get yet more boosters into arms, especially in the older and more vulnerable people.”
On Thursday, the Health Secretary Sajid Javid told BBC Radio 4’s Today “I think it is proportionate, actually, when you look at these measures, whether it is the working-from-home guidance, the rules around face masks, the NHS Covid pass, and all of [these rules.]
“It is a real sort of spectrum of response that you can have it could be guidance, you could have Covid passes clearly in more settings, you could have face masks in more settings.
“But you have to take a balanced decision that takes into account a number of factors and, of course, the key here is to slow the spread of the new variant, and these measures will help do that.”
Mr Javid added: “We, of course, keep them under review, but they will have a significant impact in slowing the spread of the variant.”