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Weddings, funerals and births will all be exempt from any future lockdown restrictions, according to a new report.
The Government will allow exemptions for life events, even if harsher restrictions are brought in in England to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
According to The Times, the Government wants to avoid disruption to ‘significant’ events, unlike earlier in the pandemic when restrictions on the number of people who could attend weddings or funerals were in place.
It’s also been reported that hospitals will continue to allow pregnant women to have scans or give birth with their partners present.
Today Boris Johnson is set to sit down with government scientists and review the latest data to discuss the possibility of more restrictions to be introduced.
A source told The Times, ministers are ‘increasingly optimistic, but very cautiously optimistic’ that it won’t be necessary to bring in lockdown restrictions in England before the end of the year.
The source said: “It's not just that there's a clear gap between cases and hospitalisations, but also that when people are going into hospital they tend to be there for less time.”
There’s uncertainty as to what any new restrictions might look like, with some Government insiders suggesting a return to the measures that were in place in April (described as Step Two restrictions at the time) could be on the cards.
However, it's expected that schools will not be closed in January.
Under Step Two of the Covid roadmap outlined earlier this year, all social interactions were limited to households and support bubbles and restaurants and pubs could only serve customers outdoors.
However, non-essential retail, hairdressers and nail salons were allowed to stay open.
The Government’s Scientific Advisory Group For Emergencies (SAGE) have said that while Omicron infections are growing quickly across the UK, the growth rates are appearing to slow down.
Dr Jenny Harries, the head of the UK’s Health Security Agency, told the BBC’s Today programme last week: “Ministers will look at all the data we have available.
“That isn’t simply what the epidemiology is saying, it’s how it’s impacting society.
“So, for example, we have very high rates of individuals off sick. Now that’s having an impact on the workforce. So these are not simply about hospitalisation rates.
“I don’t think we do know yet that this is going to be a significantly less serious disease for the population — the older population — that we are normally most concerned about in relation to serious disease and death.
"There is a glimmer of Christmas hope in the findings… but it definitely isn’t yet at the point where we could downgrade that serious threat.”
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