Masks, social distancing and WFH will NOT be brought back to ease NHS pressure, Gov insists

MASKS and social distancing will not be brought back in to ease pressure on the NHS, the Government has insisted.

Cases of both flu and Covid-19 have been climbing in recent weeks, putting additional strain on the NHS.

Government sources today said that there are no plans to bring in Covid style restrictions and guidanceCredit: Alamy

But sources have claimed that there are no plans to bring in restrictions similar to those seen during the peak of the Covid pandemic.

During the highest infection points, Brits were urged to work from home in order to protect the NHS and stop infection.

Kids were also made to stay off school, with social distancing measures also taking hold – impacting businesses up and down the country.

It had been reported that Covid style measures could be introduced to save the NHS.

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However a Government source this morning said that this is “total cobblers, completely inaccurate and that nothing of the sort has been even discussed”.

It comes as infections continue to dominate hospitals across the UK, with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) issuing fresh guidance on mask wearing.

Chief Medical Adviser Susan Hopkins told sick Brits to “try to stay home when unwell” and “wear a face covering” if you must go out.

Downing Street stressed mask-wearing was not compulsory and people should use “their judgement”.

Latest NHS figures show there are 9,459 hospital patients with Covid and 4,128 with flu.

The total of 13,587 is 13 per cent of all available ward beds — one in every eight.

Hospitals are so busy that even cardiac arrest patients are struggling to get ambulances and A&E patients are waiting up to four days for help.

NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: “The NHS is experiencing one of its busiest winters ever with record demand on emergency services and a resurgence in respiratory illnesses.

Both figures are expected to rise in the coming days and hospitals are already 94 per cent full.

On Wednesday morning Professor Lawrence Young from the University of Warwick said we need to be ‘keeping an eye’ on Covid cases in the UK amid a the XBB1.5 variant that is currently prominent in the US.

He said: “It’s significant because it’s spreading so rapidly, we are seeing a whole slew at the moment of different Omicron variants, indeed that’s what’s causing the spread of Covid in this country.

“This particular variant is unusual in that it’s spreading so rapidly – and in fact towards the end of December the number of cases with this particular variant in the US more than doubled in a week and that’s why we’re very concerned,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

He added that the best thing to do is get out and get boosters.

“It’s a bit of a wake up call, but jabs should protect people from developing severe disease,” he added.

The Sun is urging Brits to “Do the Double”, and come forward for flu and Covid jabs.

NHS bosses and ministers again backed our campaign while medics warned they face their “worst ever” crisis.

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The Sun has been urging Brits to protect against both viruses with a good degree of success.

However, nine million people are still due a Covid booster and 13 million have not taken up their free flu shot — meaning a total of 22million jabs on standby.


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