Shielders told to 'use own judgment' at Christmas in 'confusing' No 10 backtrack

Asia's Tech News Daily

The government have told the extremely clinically vulnerable to “use their individual judgement” when it comes to socialising over the Christmas period. (PA Images)

The government has issued confusing advice to clinically vulnerable people over whether they should meet up with family and friends over Christmas.

The emergence of the Omicron variant, which early data suggests could be more transmissible and reduce the effectiveness of our current vaccines, has signalled the return of new COVID rules around masks.

The government has been placed on the back foot in recent days, with ministers contradicting themselves as to whether people should “snog under the mistletoe” at Christmas parties.

And there was further confusion this week when the prime minister's spokesperson said there was 'existing advice' for the clinically vulnerable, before later adding that the guidelines are 'broadly the same as for everyone else' and finally saying shielders should 'use their own judgment' on attending festive gatherings.

The position of millions of shielders throughout the pandemic has been a difficult one, many living in isolation and unable to see relatives or loved ones for the best part of a year after the government told them to stay at home as much as possible.

Despite restrictions for those isolating ending on 19 July, government figures from November reveal 22% of the most clinically vulnerable have continued to shield.

Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, the prime minister's spokesperson said there was existing advice for the clinically vulnerable.

Watch: Boris Johnson promises to ‘throw everything at’ booster jabs effort

“There is already existing advice for those that are shielding and clearly anyone who is significantly worried can contact the NHS if they need bespoke advice as they have been throughout.

“Of course, we will provide updated advice and there’ll be updated clinical advice should that be necessary.”

However, pressed again on Thursday to outline the specific guidance, the spokesperson said it was “broadly” the same as for everyone else on issues like attending Christmas parties.

“That’s broadly correct, yes,” he said. “There’s specific guidance that’s available, and that hasn’t changed.”

He added that the measures – including mask-wearing on public transport and in shops – introduced are primarily “precautionary” measures in response to the risks posed by the Omicron variant.

People testing positive for Covid-19 in private households in England. (PA)

“We are in a position where people can use their individual judgement, of course – you would want to take into account your personal circumstances.

“I can’t speak for the NHS, but the guidance post-step four has not changed as I’ve said there is specific limited restrictions we’ve placed on a precautionary basis.”

The comments from Number 10 join the growing list of mixed messaging from the government.

Read more: One in five clinically extremely vulnerable people still shielding – ONS 'Anger as government insists shielding not necessary for COVID vulnerable

On Monday, the government's own expert, chief executive of the UK Health Security Authority Jenny Harries, said that people should avoid unnecessary socialising in the coming weeks – which was rebuffed by the prime minister.

“We’re not going to change the overall guidance,” he said. “We don’t think that’s necessary. We don’t see anything to suggest that we need to go, for instance, to Plan B.”

According to the Guardian, the Home Office has urged staff to limit numbers attending Christmas parties in the office at the same time as Boris Johnson has stressed “people shouldn't be cancelling” events.

Health secretary Sajid Javid said “snog who you wish” under the mistletoe, contradicting his colleague – work and pensions secretary Therese Coffrey. (PA Images)

The prime minister is also facing a significant blow to his authority over claims Downing Street held parties while the rest of the country was in lockdown last Christmas.

The UK reported its highest number of COVID cases since July 2021 on Thursday, with 53,945 new cases and 141 more deaths.

The government has accelerated the national booster programme in recent days, with under 40s now eligible for their third jabs.

Dozens of countries have introduced travel restrictions and tightened COVID rules, with countries like Israel and Japan closing their borders altogether amid fears the new variant may have some resistance to vaccines or may be more transmissible. On Thursday, Germany announced a de facto lockdown for those who are unvaccinated.

Scientists have expressed concern about the variant due to its over 50 mutations, which could mean it could reduce the efficacy of current vaccines

The Catch-up sign up

Yahoo News UK approached the department for health and social care (DHSC) for clarification on guidance for people in the extremely clinically vulnerable group.

A DHSC spokesperson said: “We announced an end to the shielding programme based on the success of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in reducing serious illness and death from COVID-19 and the emergence of proven treatments.

“We have followed the JCVI advice to offer third top-up jabs – and shortly to offer fourth primary doses – of the vaccine to those with severely weakened immune systems and would encourage those who remain at higher risk to discuss any necessary precautions with their specialist as part of their routine care.”

Watch: PM tells people not to cancel Christmas parties amid Omicron rise

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Premier League could bring in new Covid postponement rules next month

New rules on Covid-19 postponements in the Premier League could be in place for the first round of games in February. Clubs are expected to meet next week, when the ... Read more »

Tech giants face online safety inquiry

Some of the world's biggest tech companies will have their say on proposed laws that would hold them accountable for online harassment and abuse on their platforms. The proposed laws ... Read more »

SpaceX Rocket Streaks Through Florida Sky

SpaceX launched 49 Starlink satellites from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on January 18, the company said. This hyperlapse footage was published by the Port St Lucie Police Department. ... Read more »

Gmail is getting a new 'inbox zero' icon - but you'll probably never see it

For those of us who really dominate the email game, a new Gmail update has promised a reward in the form of an all-new congratulatory “inbox zero” icon. The refreshed ... Read more »

Make dinnertime easier with Home Chef meal kits—save $90 now

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Looking to streamline dinnertime? Meal kit delivery services can take the ... Read more »

Saturday Kitchen star Matt Tebbutt undergoes emergency surgery: details

Matt Tebbutt hasn't had the best start to the year! The Saturday Kitchen star has revealed he had to undergo emergency surgery this week, sharing an update from his hospital ... Read more »

How to watch Ivory Coast vs Algeria: live stream AFCON online from anywhere

Read more »

Computer Scientists Eliminate Pesky Quantum Computations

For years, intermediate measurements made it hard to quantify the complexity of quantum algorithms. New work establishes that those measurements aren’t necessary after all. Read more »

EXPLAINER: Microsoft's Activision buy could shake up gaming

Microsoft stunned the gaming industry when it announced this week it would buy game publisher Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, a deal that would immediately make it a larger video-game ... Read more »

The new normal is now just the normal

We’ve been talking about the new normal for some time, but when will it just become the norm? I think it already has, and businesses need to start playing catch ... Read more »

‘Dangerous' fogging machines used in care homes and schools to combat Covid

© AFP via Getty Images fogging machines “Dangerous” and “pointless” fogging machines are being used throughout the UK in high-risk settings, such as care homes and schools, in an attempt ... Read more »

Arsenal vs Liverpool live stream: how to watch the Carabao Cup semi-final online, second-leg

Something has got to give tomorrow night in the second leg semi-final of the Carabao Cup when Liverpool travel to North London to play Arsenal. After a 10-man Gunners scraped ... Read more »

Amazon's Lord of the Rings forges a title to rule us all

Amazon Studios has officially unveiled the title for its upcoming Lord of the Rings TV series – and, given its ties to Sauron, it sounds very ominous indeed. Revealed in ... Read more »

How Dune's production team brought the world of Arrakis to life

There’s a saying among Hollywood’s most revered directors that filmmaking shouldn’t be about serving the audience, but the filmmakers themselves. Denis Villeneuve’s Dune just so happens to do both. The ... Read more »

Sony stock drops $20 billion thanks to Microsoft/Activision Xbox deal

Stock in Sony plunged overnight by 13%, equating $20 billion lost in the company, in the wake of Microsoft’s announcement that it will be purchasing Activision Blizzard. According to Bloomberg ... Read more »

Activision Blizzard CEO reveals why it was the right time to do a deal with Microsoft

Activision Blizzard lawsuit Publisher Activision Blizzard, responsible for the game this article refers to, is currently embroiled in ongoing litigation in regards to claims reporting a workplace culture that allegedly ... Read more »

ProtonMail wants to stop you being tracked online via email

Privacy-oriented email provider ProtonMail has introduced a new feature that looks to prevent advertisers from tracking users reading their emails. The ‘enhanced tracking protection’ blocks tracking pixels commonly found in ... Read more »

Kasus Omicron Terus Melonjak, Luhut: Ikuti Aturan Jika Ingin Hidup

© Disediakan oleh Katadata Pemerintah terus mewanti-wanti masyarakat disiplin protokol kesehatan untuk  mencegah lebih banyak lagi kasus Omicron. Bahkan Menteri Koordinator Bidang Kemaritiman dan Investasi Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan mewanti-wanti warga agar ... Read more »

Video shows UES Christmas Day attacker shove 81-year-old to the ground

An elderly dog-walker was shoved to the ground in an unprovoked Christmas Day attack on the Upper East Side, video released by the NYPD early Wednesday shows. The 81-year-old victim ... Read more »

HSN is hosting its annual Beauty Choice Awards—check out our beauty editor's top picks

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. HSN is home to tons of incredible products, from our favorite ... Read more »

Last chance - get up to $300 off Asus Zephyrus gaming laptop deals at Best Buy

Are you shopping for high-end gaming laptop deals? There are two excellent options at Best Buy right now that are worth checking out. Word of warning, however – they expire ... Read more »

Best green web hosting of 2022

Choosing the best web hosting company typically involves weighing up many factors, such as price, features, support, reputation and more. The environmental impact of a web host probably won’t rank ... Read more »

The inventor of the World Wide Web says his creation has been abused for too long

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, has called for a stronger focus on addressing the imbalance of power on the web. Speaking to Fujitsu CTO Vivek ... Read more »

Pfizer asegura que pastillas anticovid Paxlovid también son eficaces contra Ómicron

© EPA/YONHAP Paxlovid, el tratamiento anticovid de Pfizer. La farmacéutica Pfizer aseguró que los estudios realizados en laboratorio del tratamiento oral Paxlovid contra la COVID-19 han demostrado que es también ... Read more »

Brentford vs Manchester United live stream: how to watch Premier League from anywhere

Ralf Rangnick’s mission to get the Red Devils back on track could get a major boost this evening, with the interim boss knowing that a win in west London will ... Read more »

Madeleine McCann investigators find ‘shocking' new evidence about suspect

Madeleine McCann was three years old when she disappeared in 2007 (PA) A German TV channel has discovered “shocking” new evidence against a man suspected of kidnapping Madeleine McCann, reports ... Read more »

Man arrested and charged with murder after nine-year-old girl found dead in a barrel in Australia

Nine-year-old Charlise Mutten was found dead in a barrel near a river in Australia (Screengrab/ABC News Australia/YouTube ) The 31-year-old stepfather of nine-year-old girl Charlise Mutten has been arrested and ... Read more »

David Davis tells Boris Johnson ‘in the name of God, go' at chaotic PMQs

Tory grandee calls on Johnson to resign at PMQs featuring fierce exchanges between PM and Keir Starmer The Tory grandee David Davis told Boris Johnson: “In the name of God, ... Read more »

AMD's new Radeon PRO GPU is more sensible than sexy, but that's no bad thing

AMD has unveiled a new addition to its Radeon PRO W6000 GPU series that caters specifically to the needs of the typical knowledge worker. The new Radeon PRO W6400 sits ... Read more »

Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard for $68.7 Billion: Talking Tech podcast

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current ... Read more »

Plan B Covid restrictions to end in England, Boris Johnson announces

© Independent Breaking News Plan B Covid restrictions are to end in England, with Covid passes no longer required from next Thursday, work from home guidance lifted, and an end ... Read more »

Corona di Prancis Memburuk, Rekor Baru Hampir Tembus Setengah Juta Kasus

© Copyright (c) 2016 TEMPO.CO foto TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Jumlah kasus virus Corona di Prancis terus mencetak rekor. Pada Selasa, data yang dikeluarkan Public Health France menunjukkan terdapat 464.769 kasus ... Read more »

Martine McCutcheon reveals secret behind her stunning figure – and fans are inspired

Martine McCutcheon has taken to Instagram to reveal the one activity that has helped her mentally and physically – walking. MORE: Martine McCutcheon reveals jaw-dropping hair transformation Sharing a picture ... Read more »

Man pretended to be lawyer, doctor and council official to control girlfriend's life

Carwyn Roberts attempted to control his partner by telling her a string of lies. (North Wales Police) A controlling boyfriend who posed as a doctor to convince his girlfriend that ... Read more »

Boris Johnson scraps Plan B COVID rules and mandatory face masks from next week

Boris Johnson has confirmed that Plan B COVID measures will end next week. (PA) Boris Johnson has announced an easing of England’s Plan B coronavirus restrictions amid a battle to ... Read more »

Jennifer Lopez wears risqué leather bra top in striking new photo – fans react

Jennifer Lopez has taken to social media with a striking new look. The singer shared two snapshots on Instagram with fans – and they were blown away by her appearance. ... Read more »

Hogwarts Legacy will release this year says Warner Bros. in spite of delay rumors

Despite claims to the contrary, Hogwarts Legacy, the Harry Potter action-RPG, is apparently still on track to release at some point in 2022. The official Warner Bros. Brazil Twitter account ... Read more »

Work from home rules axed in England as Plan B Covid restrictions are scrapped

Work from home guidance has been scrapped by Prime Minister Boris Johnson amidst a raft of announcements as England’s Covid Plan B is thrown out. The most recent round of ... Read more »

Tesco shoppers spot 'secret' sale with clothes scanning for 4p at the checkout

Tesco shoppers have been bagging kids’ clothes for as little as 4p in a series of surprise bargains. But parents have only found out about the deals at the tills ... Read more »

Starbucks to widen online reach in China through new alliance with Meituan, ending coffeehouse chain's partnership with Alibaba-backed Ele.me

US coffeehouse chain Starbucks is gearing up to expand its online presence across China through a new alliance with on-demand local services giant Meituan, ending an exclusive partnership with Alibaba ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic