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UK turns to COVID “Plan B” rules to contain Omicron

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Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the government will adopt new COVID rules, turning to “Plan B” to manage the new Omicron strain of the virus

Under the new Plan B rules, people in England are being asked to work from home again if possible and face masks will be compulsory in most public places, as part of new rules to limit the spread of Omicron.

The Prime Minister also announced that vaccine passports will also be needed to get into nightclubs and large venues from next week.

Boris Johnson announced the government was moving to its back-up plan of extra Covid rules at a news conference.

Police officers stand guard during an anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine protest, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, outside Downing Street, London, Britain, June 14, 2021. / Image: File

“It’s not a lockdown, it’s Plan B,”

Johnson says that moving to the tougher measures was the “proportionate and responsible” thing to do, but insisted it would not become a lockdown.

The PM stated that much more is still being learned about new variant Omicron, including from the World Health Organization and the picture surrounding the variant might get better, but that it “could lead to a big rise in hospitalisations and therefore sadly in deaths”.

Under the new rules, face masks will be required in more public settings – including theatres and cinemas – from Friday, and from Monday, people will be asked to work from home where possible.

The NHS Covid Pass will also be required for visitors to nightclubs, indoor unseated venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people and any event with more than 10,000 people from next Wednesday.

Highest day since July: UK COVID cases causing major concern
Johnson urges booster program to ramp up / Image: File

Will Christmas be cancelled?

But Mr Johnson said Christmas parties and nativity plays should still go ahead – as long as the guidance is followed.

Many of the questions the PM faced centred on the row over the Downing Street Christmas party at the height of lockdown rules last December.

Government adviser Allegra Stratton – who was seen with other No 10 staff joking about the party in a leaked video from last year – resigned just before the news conference, saying she would always regret her remarks.

Earlier Mr Johnson apologised in the Commons for this video, although he said that he had been repeatedly told there had been no party. The Metropolitan Police has now said they will not investigate the issue, due to lack of evidence.

According to British media, when Johnson was questioned at the news conference regarding if the Plan B announcement was timed to divert attention from the Christmas party, the prime minister denied that was the case. Instead, the PM went on saying the government did not want to delay bringing in the rules which were important to protect public health.

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Ford’s all-electric plan for Europe proves too challenging to achieve by 2030

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Ford has revised its plan to go fully electric in Europe by 2030, admitting it was too ambitious.

Originally aiming to transition entirely to electric vehicles, the automaker now plans to continue producing some internal combustion engine vehicles alongside electric ones.

Mike Costello from Cox Automotive joins for the latest. #featured

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Democrats scramble to rally behind Harris as Trump allies launch next phase of campaign

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Biden Withdraws: President Joe Biden Ends Reelection Bid, Endorses Kamala Harris.

 

After weeks of battling to salvage his political career – claiming he wouldn’t be stepping down after a disastrous debate performance – the president’s sudden change of course was not announced through an Oval Office address or a campaign speech. Instead, it was revealed in a letter posted to social media while he was recovering from Covid-19 at his beach house in Delaware.

“And while it has been my intention to seek reelection, I believe it is in the best interest of my party and the country for me to stand down and to focus solely on fulfilling my duties as President for the remainder of my term,” Biden wrote in a letter posted to X.

Harris expressed her gratitude for Biden’s endorsement, stating she is “honoured” and committed to “earning and winning” the nomination. Should she secure the nomination, Harris would make history as the first Black woman and first Asian American to lead the ticket of a major political party. To facilitate her candidacy, the Biden-Harris campaign has updated its filings with the Federal Election Commission, renaming its principal committee to reflect Harris’s new status as a presidential candidate.

Despite Biden’s support, the path forward remains uncertain. It is unclear whether Harris will automatically become the nominee or what alternative processes the Democratic Party might consider. Additionally, sources suggest that Senator Joe Manchin, an independent from West Virginia, is contemplating re-registering as a Democrat to enter the presidential race.

In response to Biden’s withdrawal, former President Donald Trump criticised Biden as “the worst president by far in the history of our country” during a call with CNN. Trump has also launched a fundraising appeal to rally his supporters.

 

 

 

 

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Trump allies launch campaign against Kamala Harris as he boasts an easier victory

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Donald Trump has said he thinks Kamala Harris will be easier to beat than Joe Biden.

With Biden out, Trump’s campaign will now adjust its strategy, focusing on attacking Harris and any other possible Democratic candidates. They aim to convince voters that Harris would be just as ineffective as Biden.

Biden faced growing doubts about his ability to win re-election, especially after a weak debate performance against Trump. Some Democrats also lost confidence in his leadership, leading him to step down.

Donald Trump said he thinks Kamala Harris will be easier to defeat than Biden. Trump and his team quickly began attacking both Biden and Harris online, claiming that Biden was not fit to be president and that Harris would be just as bad.

Allies of former President Donald Trump quickly launched their campaign against Vice President Kamala Harris on Sunday afternoon, preparing a series of anti-Harris ads and planning their strategies for attacking her.

“I call her laughing Kamala,” Trump told the crowd, during his nearly two-hour appearance. “You can tell a lot by a laugh. She’s crazy. She’s nuts.”

 

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