Ministers are reportedly considering additional Covid measures that could amount to a “Plan C”, as England prepares for another winter during the Covid pandemic.
While the government has so far resisted calls to implement new Covid measures, the health secretary has warned restrictions could return in England in the run-up to Christmas.
According toThe Telegraph, Cabinet Office ministers are discussing proposals which could potentially form a “Plan C” involving even tougher measures than the existing “Plan B”.
The newspaper reported this extra contigency plan could see a ban on household mixing.
But Edward Argar, health minister, denied on Thursday there was a Plan C being considered by the government which would ban the mixing of households at Christmas.
Asked about reports on Sky News, he said he was “not aware” of such plans. “That is not a story with foundation,” Mr Argar added.
“Of course as a government you look at, as we have done with our Plan B, alternatives and ways that you might – if you needed to – start easing that pressure”, the health minister said.
Mr Argar said limiting household mixing was not something being “actively considered”.
The series of tighter measures has been drawn up as a contingency plan if the NHS comes under unsustainable pressure.
It includes the reintroduction of some social distancing measures, compulsory face masks in some settings and an appeal for the public to work from home, as well as the use of vaccine passports.
The health secretary said on Wednesday there were no plans to put these contigency measures into place “at the moment”, saying pressures on the NHS were not yet “unsustainable”.