Boris Johnson has confirmed that no new Covid-19 restrictions will be put in place in England before Christmas Day.
Mr Johnson attended an emergency Cabinet meeting earlier this week to discuss plans to address the rapidly rising coronavirus cases across the country.
He is understood to have been presented with three options to help minimise the spread of the Omicron variant, with reports suggesting another lockdown could potentially be on the cards after Christmas.
When is Boris Johnson’s next announcement?
Mr Johnson released a statement on Tuesday (21 December) confirming that the UK government will not be asking people in England to follow any additional rules ahead of the festive celebrations.
However, he did warn that more restrictions may come after 25 December.
The PM is facing increasing pressure to act after tougher Covid-19 rules have been set out in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland which will come into effect from Boxing Day.
Nightclub closures, stricter social distancing rules, and limits on social mixing are among the measures being put in place.
It is understood that the PM could make an announcement on stricter rules for England after Christmas, but this is not expected to take place until Monday 27 December at the earliest.
With Parliament taking around two days to recall, any new measures would unlikely come into effect until around 29 December.
And with 27 and 28 December both being bank holidays, the process of bringing in new measures will likely be a slower process.
As it stands, the government does not currently have any scheduled Covid announcements, but previous announcements have tended to come at short notice.
What has Boris Johnson said about new Covid rules?
In a pre-recorded clip earlier this week, Mr Johnson said the government reserves the “possibility of taking further action” to protect public health due to the spread of the Omicron variant.
The Prime Minister said that he and his Cabinet are monitoring the situation “hour by hour”.
He said: “Unfortunately I must say to people that we will have to reserve the possibility of taking further action to protect the public, to protect public health, to protect our NHS.
“We won’t hesitate to take action.”
Asked about the prospect of new restrictions including on the hospitality sector, he explained: “We are looking at all kinds of things to keep Omicron under control and we will rule nothing out."