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Johnson Says U.K. Can Ride Out Covid Wave Without Tighter Rules

Tuesday, January 4, 2022
Johnson Says U.K. Can Ride Out Covid Wave Without Tighter Rules © Bloomberg. LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 04: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures, during a coronavirus briefing at Downing Street on January 4, 2022 in London, England. The Prime Minister announced that around 100,000 critical workers would be set to take daily Covid tests in order to reduce the spread of the virus to colleagues. (Photo by Jack Hill - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

(Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson said the U.K. can weather a record wave of Covid-19 sweeping the country without tighter restrictions, even as he warned the National Health Service is under growing strain.

A record 218,724 new cases of the virus were reported on Tuesday, driven by the fast-spreading omicron variant, and the prime minister warned that the weeks ahead will be “challenging” for the U.K.

But he also said that the country’s booster vaccination program and the rules in place since before Christmas appear sufficient for now. “We have a good chance of getting through the omicron wave without the need for further restrictions, and certainly without the need for another lockdown,” he said.

Johnson’s government has relied on lighter-touch regulations combined with an accelerated vaccine booster program to keep the economy open through the omicron wave. The prime minister said he will recommend to his cabinet on Wednesday that the rules in place since last month, including the expanded use of face masks, should remain in place.

He also said ministers have identified 100,000 critical workers who from Jan. 10 will be able to get lateral flow tests every working day.

‘Challenging’

“The weeks ahead are going to be challenging, both here in the U.K. and across the world,” Johnson said. “There is no escaping the fact that some services will be disrupted by staff absences.”

The pressure on the NHS has been highlighted by a number of hospital trusts declaring critical incidents -- an indication they may not be able to provide a full range of priority services. They’re being hit by a combination of rising Covid hospitalizations and increasing staff absences because of the virus.

Johnson is trying to strike a balance that keeps the pandemic under control while avoiding further angering his restless backbenchers who rebelled in record numbers last month when he brought in new rules including Covid passes to gain entry to night clubs and large events. A review of those rules is due tomorrow, and they expire on Jan. 26.

While hospital admissions are “rising quickly,” that isn’t yet translating into the same volume of patients in critical care as in earlier waves, Johnson said, adding that he is not ruling out further curbs if the situation changes.

Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance said it’s not yet clear when the omicron wave will peak, and that infections are moving into older age groups who are more likely to be hospitalized.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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27-01-2022 18:51:16 (UTC+7)

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 EUR/USD1.1145Neutral
 GBP/USD1.3388↑ Buy
 USD/JPY115.36Neutral
 AUD/USD0.7036↑ Sell
 USD/CAD1.2737Sell
 EUR/JPY128.57Neutral
 EUR/CHF1.0378↑ Buy
 Gold1,796.25↑ Sell
 Silver22.780↑ Sell
 Copper4.4235↑ Sell
 Crude Oil WTI87.48↑ Buy
 Brent Oil88.84↑ Buy
 Natural Gas4.341↑ Buy
 US Coffee C231.78Buy
 Euro Stoxx 504,184.97↑ Buy
 S&P 5004,326.50↑ Sell
 DAX15,524.27↑ Buy
 FTSE 1007,554.31↑ Buy
 Hang Seng23,807.00↑ Buy
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 IBEX 358,706.00↑ Buy
 BASF68.450↑ Sell
 Bayer52.58↑ Sell
 Allianz228.70↑ Sell
 Adidas242.15↑ Sell
 Lufthansa7.045↑ Sell
 Siemens AG140.50↑ Sell
 Deutsche Bank AG11.920↑ Sell
Mua/Bán 1 chỉ SJC
# So hôm qua # Chênh TG
SJC Eximbank6,195/ 6,235
(0/ 0) # 1,263
SJC HCM6,195/ 6,255
(0/ 0) # 1,284
SJC Hanoi6,195/ 6,257
(0/ 0) # 1,286
SJC Danang6,195/ 6,257
(0/ 0) # 1,286
SJC Nhatrang6,195/ 6,257
(0/ 0) # 1,286
SJC Cantho6,195/ 6,257
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KRW16,2819,84
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