Michael Gove is leading the push for tougher Plan C Covid-19 restrictions, including ‘pub passports’, after pandemic modelling showed the Omicron variant could cause more hospitalisations than last winter.
However, Boris Johnson and Downing Street are said to be resisting Mr Gove’s calls for a new crackdown, as the Prime Minister faces a revolt from his own Conservative party in a vote over the introduction of Plan B rules.
Senior Cabinet ministers are said to be preparing to rebel against the Plan B measures in a vote next week, and 65 Tory MPs have already indicated they will vote against.
A commons vote is set to be held on Tuesday over the Plan B measures, which require face masks to be worn in non-hospitality venues, and ask people to work from home where possible. NHS Covid passes will also be required in some venues, like nightclubs, from Wednesday.
Mr Gove, who has been one of the most consistently pro-restriction Cabinet Ministers since the start of the pandemic, said the ‘very challenging new information’ meant that ‘action is absolutely required’, and as new data comes in we will consider what action we do require to take in the face of that data’.