Boris Johnson prepares to unveil Winter Plan to avoid Christmas lockdown

Boris Johnson will unveil his Winter Plan on Tuesday which aims to avoid a Christmas lockdown by centring on booster jabs for over-50s.

Reports state third doses are to be rolled out in a similar vein to the first vaccine drive – starting with the most elderly and vulnerable.

They will then be offered to younger and younger age groups.

Mr Johnson's Covid plan is set to follow an announcement by the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation (JCVI) on who should receive booster jabs.

The JCVI has yet to announce if a separate booster programme is needed and who would be eligible.

The Prime Minister is hoping to prevent the resurgence of Covid restrictions this winter with top-up jabs and a massive flu shot blitz aided by a giant ad campaign urging people to get the double protection.

If it fails and the NHS is overrun, vaccine passports, more indoor masks and interventions such as working from home will have to return.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid also suggested to Times Radio on Saturday that ministers were considering giving children just one shot of the vaccine as part of a rollout to 12 to 15-year-olds.

He added that everything will be down to avoid another lockdown, saying: “Of course we get Christmas. I’m not anticipating any more lockdowns. I just don’t see how we get to another lockdown.”

Mr Javid also announced that the plan for vaccine passports to be introduced for night-clubs and stadiums has been scrapped.

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Mr Johnson had promised to make jabs compulsory for big venues from the end of September, but backed down after a major backlash from his own party.

In a morning of mixed messages, the Health Secretary first said no final decision had been made on Covid passports for clubbers — before confirming they would not go ahead just one hour later.

Half an hour later, he then said they would be kept under review, adding: “What I can say is that we’ve looked at it properly and whilst we should keep it in reserve as a potential option, I’m pleased to say that we will not be going ahead with plans for vaccine passports.”

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Mr Javid denied the government was "running scared" on the policy after criticism from its own backbenchers.

He said the passports were no longer necessary because of other things in the "wall of defence" including high vaccine uptake, testing, surveillance and new treatments.

The U-turn on vaccine passports for venues has been welcomed by the hospitality industry.

Adam Brooks, landlord of the Three Colts pub in Buckhurst Hill, Essex, told The Sun: “Since Boris threatened vaccine passports I have hardly slept with worry — worry over my industry.

“It’s businesses and it’s jobs. I was fearful for my kids and the possibility of an authoritarian future.

"Today’s announcement is not something to celebrate, it’s merely common sense returning and I thank all those that campaigned against them.”

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