‘Embarrassing judgement’ Boris ‘Freedom Day’ savaged as England hit by record Covid cases

Covid-19: Sajid Javid confirms no new restrictions until New Year

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The latest data has revealed there were 113,628 new cases recorded on Christmas Day following a rush to get tested in the days leading up to big festive day. On Boxing Day, there were a further 108,893 infections reported – 103,558 in England and 5,335 in Wales. It has also been revealed there were 98,515 lab-confirmed cases recorded in England alone as of 9am on Monday.

In another worrying sign, the number of people in hospital with Covid in England surged to its highest level since March.

The number stood at 8,474 as of 8am on Monday, according to NHS England.

This is a huge jump of 27 percent from a week earlier and is also the highest number since March 5, when the country had been hit under strict lockdown restrictions.

On Christmas Day alone, there were 1,281 hospital admissions linked to Covid – the highest daily number since February 16.

Alistair Jones, Associate Politics Professor at De Montfort University, Leicester, has sent a huge warning to Prime Minister Mr Johnson, telling Express.co.uk: “The numbers appear to be moving out of control.

“The Government’s ‘freedom day’ is looking like an embarrassing error of judgement.

“The problem is persuading people to follow any re-imposed restrictions, especially noting the PM’s disdain for following them himself.

“Despite this, there is a clear need to re-impose some restrictions – although I suspect nothing will be done until 2022.”

Professor Jones warned Mr Johnson may have to rely on the Labour Party to get Covid restrictions voted through the House of Commons, warning he should expect a “vitriolic backlash from the right of the Conservative Party”.

He continued: “Johnson will be dependent on Labour to get anything through Parliament.

“Restrictions needed to be put in place before Christmas but that was never going to happen as Johnson is terrified of the public backlash. The media would portray him as The Grinch.

“Assuming Parliament is reconvened to vote on any new restrictions, expect a vitriolic backlash from the right of the Conservative Party.

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“In the extreme scenario, it needs only 55 Conservative MPs to write to the Chair of the 1922 Committee and there will be a vote on Johnson remaining as party leader.”

On Monday, Health Secretary Mr Javid said no further Covid restrictions will be introduced in England before 2022.

Ministers are not yet imposing restrictions beyond Plan B measures currently in place. Mr Johnson spoke with chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance to review the current Covid situation.

But Mr Javid has urged people to remain extremely cautious – particularly around the turn of the year – as the Omicron variant continues to inflict chaos throughout the country.

He said: “We look at the data on a daily basis – that hasn’t changed over the Christmas period.

“But there will be no further measures before the new year. Of course, people should remain cautious as we approach New Year’s celebrations.

“Take a lateral flow test if that makes sense, celebrate outside if you can, have some ventilation if you can.

“Please remain cautious and when we get into the new year, of course, we will see then whether we do need to take any further measures, but nothing more until then, at least.”

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