Health Secretary urges face coverings in crowds and meeting outdoors as cases soar

BMA advises GP's not to accept any new patients

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Health Secretary Sajid Javid encourages people to wear face coverings in crowds and to meet people outdoors.

During a press conference today, October 20, Health Secretary Sajid Javid encourages people to wear face coverings in crowds and to meet people outdoors as hospitalisations are around 1,000 a day.

He tells the news conference: “We’ve always known that the winter months would pose the greatest threat to the road to our recovery.”

The winter provides the “perfect conditions” for COVID and other seasonal viruses, he says.

The minister says: “We’re starting to see this impact.”

“This virus will be with us for the long term and it remains a threat,” he adds.

He says the government will not be implementing its “Plan B” of contingency measures “at this point,” which would include mandatory face masks and working from home.

“We’ve been in a race, a race between the vaccine and the virus. And although we’re ahead in that race, the gap is narrowing.”

“We’ve come so far thanks to the efforts of so many. But with winter ahead, we can’t blow it now.”

“So we’re going to do everything we can to maintain our lead by strengthening our vaccination programme as our primary line of defence.”

He said the government will “redouble our efforts” for those eligible to have a vaccination and that this has been extended to more people, such as children aged 12-15.

Javid says “we are identifying new variants all the time.”

This includes a new version of the Delta variant, known as AY4.2.

“That new variant is now spreading. While there’s no reason to believe AY4.2 poses a greater threat, the next variant or the one after that might do.”

“If we want to secure these freedoms for the long term, then the best thing we can do is come forward once again when that moment comes.”

He says a quarter of the positive cases that are now being identified come from the lateral flow tests that people are taking without symptoms, encouraging people to keep taking regular tests.

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Written by

Laura Kemp

Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at