No guarantee all schools will be open in January, says Education Secretary

The Education Secretary could not guarantee all schools in England would open in January.

Speaking on the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show about whether he could make that guarantee, Nadhim Zahawi said: “We are absolutely working to make sure that all schools are open, that they’re protected.

“I will do everything in my power. We are still learning about this variant. We know that a booster works. Get boosted, protect yourself, protect your community and let’s get through this and transition this from pandemic to endemic.”

Plan B restrictions are expected to be passed by Parliament on Tuesday, with Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer saying this morning that his party would support the Government on the issue.

The UK needs “a better plan” for Covid measures because “there is a lot of concern” among Conservatives over new Covid restrictions, says Tory MP Dehenna Davison

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer says he will tell his MPs to vote with the #Marr pic.twitter.com/udvwkGVrRJ

— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) December 12, 2021

The Labour leader told the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show: “If you look at the science in relation to Omicron, the new variant, there is a real concern that we could be in a situation where the number of cases is doubling in a shorter period of two days.

“Now I understand people say that that hasn’t led to higher hospitalisations and deaths yet, but the sheer volume of cases is very, very worrying.”

He added: “So I’m not supporting the Prime Minister on Tuesday, I’m supporting our NHS, and I’m supporting the public in relation to this pandemic.”

What is Plan B?

Guidance to work from home is to be reintroduced in England as part of measures to halt the spread of the Omicron variant, Boris Johnson has announced.

Face masks will be required to most indoor venues including theatres and cinemas for wearing face masks.

The NHS Covid pass is to be made mandatory in England in a week’s time for nightclubs and venues where large crowds gather, Boris Johnson has announced.

These are unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people, and any venue with more than 10,000 people.

The passes will still work for people who have had just two doses of a COVID vaccine, although this will be kept under review.

From Monday people will be advised to work from home if they can.