PMQs: May says 'omicron is less serious than previous variants'
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However, this report re-emphasises the importance of focussing on the ability of Covid to be transmitted in enclosed spaces.
These include popular destinations including restaurants, cafes and nightclubs where people are unmasked in unventilated spaces for periods of more than 20 minutes.
In recent months, there have been measures to combat transmission indoors.
Some nightclubs have introduced Covid passes and cinemas require mask wearing during screenings.
On masks, these have been found to be one of most effective ways at stopping transmission.
Masks and face coverings are also one of the easiest ways for people to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 alongside social distancing.
On Covid measures, there has been a divide in approach between the four nations in the United Kingdom this winter.
While Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each brought in restrictions towards the end of last year, England didn’t.
There has been increasing dialogue on living with, rather than trying to suppress Covid.
It was for this reason that the government is considering scrapping free lateral flow tests in the UK.
While this isn’t signalling that the pandemic is nearing its end, it isn’t, or moving to an epidemic phase, it marks a change in the stance the government will potentially take going forward.
There are multiple theories about what our relationship with COVID-19 will look like going forward.
Some say that it will become an annual peak; in the same way that the NHS faces a wave of flu cases each year, so will it face a similar wave of COVID-19 cases.
Others hope that COVID-19 will gradually fade way, getting weaker each year until it becomes something few people get.
Omicron is believed to be following this trend.
Scientists say that as a virus mutates over time, that it becomes more transmissible but weaker.
This news, while providing more useful data on measures, comes at a time when the government is under pressure.
Omicron cases are rising nationally while Boris Johnson is under pressure to resign following allegations of gatherings in No 10’s garden during the first national lockdown.
So far, government figures state that over 150,000 people have died from COVID-19 while the ONS (Office for National Statistics) suggests the figure could be over 175,000.
Even though a large proportion of the population is now triple vaccinated, this number is expected to rise further and further over the coming months.
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