Despite his order to avoid holiday get-together after the Kent variant of Covid-19 sent cases soaring last December, Boris Johnson said that it is not the intended plan to cancel Christmas for another year.
After repeatedly announcing his optimism for Christmas in the past, the prime minister imposed a stringent set of last-minute conditions that prevented many people from seeing friends and family last year as the Alpha variant quickly spread.
He has maintained the government's cautious stance this year by not giving any guarantees about what the virus response may require. When asked whether he would promise not to ruin Christmas again in a row, the response from Johnson was: "That is very much not the plan."
He added, "I just want to go back to what I said about plan A and plan B.". According to him, Plan A is what we're doing, and Plan B is what might be required. He explained it's a gradual process, and we certainly won't have to deal with anything like last Christmas."
In response to remarks he made last year about 2021 being a "two-turkey Christmas," he joked that people could defrost the bird from last year.
Last week, the government announced its "plan A" for fighting the pandemic in the fall and winter, including booster shots for seniors and vaccinations for children aged 12-15. In addition, they established contingency plans that could include mandating masks in some situations and re-introducing work-from-home advice, among others.
As part of a High Court battle over millions of pounds worth of antibody test contracts, former health secretary Matt Hancock's personal Whatsapp and email accounts will be searched based on his claims.
In the meantime, US chief medical advisor Dr Anthony Fauci said British travelers with the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine would be allowed into the US. The comments were made shortly after the White House announced the suspension of its ban on fully vaccinated UK travelers.
"Since the announcement," says British Airways, "thousands of potential travelers have been searching for holidays to crucial US destinations, over seven times more than in the same period last week."