An 'immediate' roll-out of Covid winter Plan B restrictions is being considered.
That is according to reports of a leaked memo coming out of the UK Health Security Agency to council leaders and directors of public health late last week, it has been claimed.
The document is thought to outlines a number of measures that could be introduced under a Plan B, the Mirror reports.
This would include working from home once again as well as vaccine passports for nightclubs. The return of legally mandated face masks would also be entrenched in law.
READ MORE: Preston council leader backs Covid restrictions now over risking lockdown later
The Sun reports that one official wrote: "I have been asked to canvas opinion on the level of support for immediate roll out of the Winter Plan - Plan B."
It comes after Health Secretary Sajid Javid refused to trigger Plan B last week despite a worrying rise in Covid cases and deaths across the country.
He told a Number 10 press conference it was right to hold back on Plan B, because pressure on the NHS isn't "unsustainable" yet. This was despite the NHS Confederation begging for measures to be brought in to avoid a 'winter crisis'.
The email adds that the public would have to be told "clearly and urgently” that the risk had increased, and explaining "the need to behave more cautiously."
Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: "With a mounting tide of Covid sickness and hospitals under crushing pressure it’s no surprise Tory ministers are secretly plotting to bring back masks and introduce vaccine passports.
“But whether it’s plan A, B or C to get on top of this deadly disease Sajid Javid needs to urgently fix the stuttering jabs campaign. Vaccination should be our wall of defence but that wall is crumbling. The complacency must be ditched, we need vaccination fixed.”
A spokesperson for the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said: “We don’t comment on leaks. It is part of UKHSA‘s role to provide advice to the Government on the ongoing response to the pandemic."
A Government spokesperson said: “We knew the coming months would be challenging – this is exactly why we set out our Covid Plan for Autumn and Winter. We are monitoring all the data closely, and the Prime Minister has been clear that it does not yet show that Plan B is necessary. Our focus remains on our booster campaign, vaccinating 12-15 year olds, and encouraging those who haven’t yet come forward to have their jab.”
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