England may have to resort to its winter Covid ‘Plan B’ if daily hospital admissions for coronavirus breach 1,200, ‘Professor Lockdown’ Neil Ferguson said today.
Boris Johnson announced last month that face masks, social distancing and vaccine passports might need to be brought back if the NHS comes under unsustainable pressure.
Ministers said the trigger point will be hospital rates now that the jabs have made case numbers less important — but they have not put a threshold on admissions.
Professor Ferguson — a key Government adviser whose modelling prompted the first lockdown last March — suggested England should not tolerate more than 1,200 daily hospitalisations. For comparison, Covid admission levels breached 4,000 during the darkest days of the second wave in January.
Speaking to a cross-party committee of MPs today, he said that the country was currently recording around 600 Covid admissions per day.
He added: ‘If that figure were to double, we’d need to think about moving to “Plan B”.’ The epidemiologist, based at Imperial College London, called for ‘more intense’ curbs if there is a sharp rise in admissions.