Children are back at school and the risks are greater than ever – the PM must be prepared to act

Editorial: Mr Johnson needs to keep a very close eye on what happens in the next few weeks

Monday 03 January 2022 21:30

On New Year’s Eve, one in 10 NHS staff were absent from work. United Lincolnshire Hospital Trusts, one of the country’s largest NHS trusts, has declared a critical incident over “extreme and unprecedented” staff shortages.

On 29 December, there were 209,743 new coronavirus infections in England and Wales alone. Hospitalisation rates are rising – and the government health minister, Ed Argar, has said he expects them to continue to rise for the next two weeks at least.

In Scotland, health ministers have suggested that even April may be too early for large-scale events. In the UK, there is no restriction on them at all.

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