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Boris Johnson strains to remain upbeat as new Omicron variant forces rapid crackdown

PM ‘confident’ that this Christmas will be better than the last as he announces a wave of fresh measures

Less than a week ago, cabinet minister Nadhim Zahawi took to the airwaves to predict that such was the progress of the vaccine programme, Britain would be the first big country to use vaccines to end the pandemic. Hours after he made those comments, scientists 9,000 miles away detected a worrying Covid variant that , just days later, prompted Boris Johnson to announce emergency measures that he had hoped would never be reintroduced.

The speed at which Omicron’s initial discovery has led to the detection of cases around the world and the imposition of new restrictions has been startling. It is also a sign of desperation in Downing Street to avoid a lapse back into more severe restrictions, such as those the prime minister was forced to introduce – with great reluctance – last Christmas.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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