Boris Johnson is failing to take the omicron variant seriously

Editorial: It looks as if Sajid Javid and Nadhim Zahawi are doing as much as they can but the roadblock to action is, as ever, the Downing Street ‘blob’

Monday 29 November 2021 21:30

There is nothing to criticise in the various measures announced by the government to prepare for the impact of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. Reducing the gap between the second and booster doses of the Covid vaccine, prudent restrictions on travel and more mandatory use of face coverings are all sensible policies.

The problem is that they are not sufficient to protect lives and health if omicron does indeed turn out to be both more infectious, more resistant to vaccines and treatments, and as bad or worse in its effects as the delta variant.

Indications from DNA sequencing and anecdotal evidence from southern Africa point in various directions. Perhaps the world will be lucky this time, and learn the lesson that “no one is safe until everyone is safe” without further unnecessary misery. But perhaps not.

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