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Plans are reportedly being drawn up for a 'two-week lockdown' and a ban on indoor socialising.
Sources close to Number 10 have claimed that the UK government is looking into stricter measures to try and curb the spread of the Omicron variant, which is running rampant through the country.
According to The Times, officials are looking at introducing a new 'Step 2' set of rules, which would mean that people would only be allowed to meet indoors for work.
This would have a knock-on effect on the hospitality industry, too, with restaurants, pubs and bars only allowed to serve customers outdoors.
It would also see the return of the 'Rule of Six' for outdoor meetings and the most vulnerable told to shield once again.
But despite fears surrounding the impact of Omicron on the education system, reports state that schools will remain open.
It's understood that plans are currently being put together and will be revealed to ministers in the coming days, with the new measures possibly in place from 27 or 28 December.
The Times reported that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is yet to approve the plans.
A government spokesperson told LADbible: "The government will continue to look closely at all the emerging data and we’ll keep our measures under review as we learn more about this variant."
This isn't the first time in recent days that rumours of tougher measures and restrictions have began circulating.
Last week, a Whitehall insider told the Mirror that Boris Johnson and his government were looking into 'Plan D', which could see pubs and restaurants restricted to outdoor service or even closed all together.
Current restrictions, known as 'Plan B', mean that people must only go into work if they have to, otherwise, they should work from home.
Announcing the measure, Johnson said: "Go to work if you must, but work from home if you can. By reducing your contacts in the workplace you will help slow transmission."
The NHS Covid Pass, on the NHS app, is also now mandatory for entry into clubs and other large indoor gatherings.
And face masks are now compulsory on all forms of public transport, as well as in shops, cinemas and theatres.
These changes came into force after the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) warned that two doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines provided 'much lower' levels of protection against Omicron than the Delta variant.
The body said, however, that the booster jabs increased protection to between 70 and 75 percent.
Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at the UKHSA, said: "These early estimates should be treated with caution but they indicate that a few months after the second jab, there is a greater risk of catching the Omicron variant compared to Delta strain.
"The data suggest this risk is significantly reduced following a booster vaccine, so I urge everyone to take up their booster when eligible.
"We expect the vaccines to show higher protection against the serious complications of Covid-19, so if you haven’t yet had your first two doses please book an appointment straight away."
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