Politics

Covid families blast 'head in sand' Boris Johnson as UK faces 'Christmas catastrophe'


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As new infections top 52,000, bereaved families have urged ministers to trigger their Covid Plan B as they mourn those “we will never again see across the table from us on Christmas Day”

Members of Covid Families for Justice outside Downing Street

Families who lost loved ones to Covid today warn ministers “sticking their heads in the sand” as the virus spreads may leave Britain in a “Christmas catastrophe”.

Campaign group Covid Families For Justice beg Boris Johnson to not “repeat your mistakes” and “jeopardise the lives of people across the country” this festive season.

The families’ emotional plea comes as health chiefs confirm 52,009 more infections and a further 115 deaths.

The NHS Confederation has told the PM he risks “stumbling into a winter crisis” if he fails to act.

But Health Secretary Sajid Javid has so far refused to trigger the Government’s ‘Plan B’ for tackling coronavirus – which includes vaccine passports, more home-working and making masks mandatory again in some places – despite admitting the UK’s spiralling case rate may hit 100,000 a day.

Now Matt Fowler, co-founder of Covid Families for Justice, has told the Mirror Mr Johnson must “put lives ahead of politics”.







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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)



He said: “A mistake repeated more than once is a decision.

“The Government can not keep pretending it has not been given a winter warning about the Christmas catastrophe that their inaction threatens to bring.

“Last winter tens of thousands of us lost loved ones and we will never again see their faces across the table from us on Christmas Day.

“The decisions of this Government, once again sticking their heads in the sand rather than taking decisive action, will contribute to more pain, loss and heartache.

“Simply talking about the vaccine programme does not mitigate or change the nearly 1000 deaths a week we face as a country; decisive action must be taken now to prevent more weeks of this horrific statistic which is far from ‘mercifully low’, as claimed by Sajid Javid.

“Please Prime Minister, do not repeat your mistakes of last year. Do not decide to jeopardise the lives of people across the country. Instead, decide to put lives ahead of politics.”

Alarming figures have shown the number of Covid patients is rising in all English regions – with Birmingham, Manchester and Nottingham among the areas heaviest hit.








Hannah Brady and Matt Fowler, who both lost family members to Covid by the Covid Memorial Wall in Westminster,
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Image:

David Dyson)



Ministers have urged people to take up booster vaccines, with Mr Javid saying at a snap Downing Street press conference on Wednesday: “We have the jabs, we just need the arms to put them in.”

Separately, it has been reported the Government is considering a ‘Plan C’ option of banning households from mixing in the run-up to Christmas if cases continue to soar. Brits would also be urged to take tests before festive gatherings with family and friends.

Health Minister Edward Argar said the plan wasn’t “being actively considered” but the Government would always look at ways to prevent the virus spiralling out of control.

Scientists, however, fear waning immunity among the elderly and vulnerable could spell trouble in the months ahead.

Speaking to reporters during a visit to Northern Ireland on Thursday, the PM said there was no need to change course.

“The most important thing people can do now is get that booster jab,” he said. “You get the call, get the jab. We have done about four million booster jabs already but as soon as you become eligible, as soon as you get that call, everybody over 50 should be getting that jab.

“We are in a much better position going into the autumn, winter now than we were 12 months ago, incomparably better, because of the huge level of protection we have got from the vaccines.

“Ninety percent of the adult population has antibodies right now but we most fortify ourselves further.

“The numbers are high, we can see what’s happening, we can see the increase, now is the time to get those booster jabs.”


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