There is no need to introduce further Covid restrictions, the health secretary said, as he does not believe the pressures currently faced by the NHS are unsustainable.
Sajid Javid said the government will not implement its Plan B to deal with Covid “at this point”.
Plan B measures include the use of face liners and work from home.
NHS leaders have called for some restrictions to be immediately reintroduced in England.
They say the country risks “running into a winter crisis”.
According to the government’s plan to deal with Covid in England during the winter, the restrictions will only be reintroduced if the NHS is subjected to “unsustainable pressure”.
Plan B also provides for the introduction of compulsory Covid passports.
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Javid told a Downing Street press conference: “Don’t get me wrong, there is tremendous pressure, especially in the emergency room, in primary care. At this point we don’t believe they are unsustainable.”
“If we feel that at any moment it is becoming unsustainable … we will not hesitate to act,” he added.
Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director of NHS England, said he expects the number of Covid patients in hospitals to continue to rise due to the high number of infections in the community.
“You undoubtedly feel exceptionally committed to the NHS and our NHS organizations tell us that all the time,” he said.
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