‘No guarantees!’ Sajid Javid refuses to rule out school closures in battle against Omicron

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Health Secretary Sajid Javid insisted he does “not want to see” school closing once again in the new year but warned there are “no guarantees” in the fight against the coronavirus. Mr Sajid unveiled a series of new measures over the past week, including the return of work from home whenever possible and the reintroduction of compulsory mask-wearing across most public spaces. Asked whether schools could also be facing new restrictions if Omicron variant cases continue to grow, Mr Sajid said he could not rule it out.

Speaking to LBC, he said: “I don’t want to see that or any of these kinds of measures.

“I think I’d say this… if you’re asking me for guarantees, I will just say – as the Health Secretary, of course, I’m not the Education Secretary, as the Health Secretary – there are, when it comes to our fight against this pandemic, there are no guarantees.

“But what we do know that works is, in this case, a booster shot of a vaccine.

“This vaccine still is incredibly effective with a booster shot and that’s why we’re so focussed on it.”

The Tory frontbencher said the new variant had “thrown off course” the UK’s efforts to fully immunise the populations against COVID-19.

He also noted surgeries and non-urgent appointments with the NHS may need to be postponed amid an already severe backlog to ensure staff can administer the booster jab.

Mr Sajid added: “We are in another race against the virus.

“We must get more booster jabs out there without delay… they were important before, but they have never, ever been so important.

“This is our best way of dealing with this new variant, and please do come forward to protect yourselves, to protect your loved ones and your community.”

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