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BORIS Johnson has hinted that mandatory vaccinations may be on the cards in an anti-vax crackdown amid growing Omicron fears.
The PM said we need to have a "national conversation" on mandatory jabs because we "can't keep goingindefinitely with restrictions."
It comes as Mr Johnson formally invoked Plan B – bringing back working from home, more mask-wearing, and Covid vaccine passports.
When asked about compulsory vaccination, the PM said there has to be a “national conversation” as UK can’t go on imposing restrictions because "a proportion of the population" aren't jabbed.
During the press conference, Boris said: "I didn't want us to have a society and a culture where we force people to get vaccinated.
"I think that there is going to come a point…if we can show that the vaccine is capable of holding Omicron, that's the key thing that I think we need to test.
"I do think we are going to have to have a conversation about ways in which we deal with this pandemic.
"I want to be absolutely clear, I don't believe we can keep going indefinitely with non-pharmaceutical interventions, I mean, restrictions on people's way of life, just because a substantial proportion of the population still sadly has not got vaccinated.
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"I think we're going to need to have a national conversation about the way forward and the other things that we can do to protect those who are hard to reach who haven't got vaccinated for one reason or another.
"That is a stage I think we will come to if and when we establish that the booster is effective against Omicron.
"We will have to talk seriously about moving on."
This comes as Mr Johnson tonight told Brits to work from home and use vaccine passports for nightclubs and footie matches in a fresh Covid squeeze.
At a gloomy press conference, the PM pulled the trigger on the Government's Plan B to tackle the rising tide of Omicron cases ripping across Britain.
He announced he was toughening the rules as scientists warned the NHS could be swamped by 1,000 daily patients infected with the super-strain.
Flanked by top docs Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance, the PM relayed sobering evidence that the mutation is doubling between every 2.5 and three days.
Giving a Commons statement at the same time Health Secretary Sajid Javid told MPs there are 568 confirmed cases variant – but the estimated current number is "probably closer to 10,000".
It means people will be required to show they're either double-jabbed or provide a negative test for crowded gatherings.
It applies for nightclubs, indoor events with 500 attendees or large outdoor gatherings like sports games.
To stem the spread new rules include:
- Compulsory face masks in all indoor settings from FRIDAY
- Working from home except key workers from MONDAY
- Vaccine passports for crowded venues from NEXT WEDNESDAY
From Monday the guidance – but not the law – will change asking all but key workers to work remotely as they did from March last year to July's Freedom Day.
Mr Johnson said: "I know this will be hard for many people, but by reducing your contacts in the workplace, you will help slow transmission."
And from Friday current mask requirements will be extended from just shops and public transport to cover all enclosed spaces – but not in pubs.
He also told parents to not take kids out of school or cancel nativity plays – despite rolling out Plan B restrictions.
The PM told schoolkids tonight to continue on as normal and enjoy their Christmas festivities amid fears over Omicron.
JUST THE JAB
Boris made clear that Brits shouldn't cancel their Christmas festivities – and that kids should stay in school unless absolutely necessary.
The PM told parents that he doesn't want schoolkids missing time in their classrooms – and he said that their nativity plays should go ahead despite Plan B.
Schools across the country have already introduced changes to kids' nativity plays as the mutant Omicron variant continues to threaten Christmas.
Children may be grouped into 'acting bubbles' and separate scenes could be recorded then edited together in a bid to keep Covid at bay.
Parents have been warned that their children's festive plays will look different, as many schools plan to live stream and edit their traditional shows.
The Department of Education confirmed that it was up to schools to decide if they want to host plays before Christmas – as there is currently no limit on group size for events, either indoor or outdoor.
More to follow…
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