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The leader of Catholics in England and Wales has urged the government not to close churches amid record rates of Covid-19 infection.
The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, said it was clear that large spaces like churches “were not places where we spread the virus.”
Boris Johnson will resist imposing further restrictions in England after Christmas, according to speculation, after data revealed that Omicron may cause less serious illness than the Delta Covid-19 strain.
“I would sincerely appeal that they no longer consider closing churches and places of worship,” the archbishop told the BBC before midnight mass at Westminster Cathedral.
The Covid-19 outbreak in March 2020 led to the closure of places of worship as Britain entered a complete lockdown, with religious buildings only reopening in June and July 2020.
laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 cases were recorded in the UK at 9am on Christmas Eve
Since June 15, 2020, places of worship in England have been able to host individual prayers and funerals. Public worship was allowed to resume in England on July 4, 2020.
“I think this country has shown that people can make good judgments for themselves,” the archbishop added.
‘We are at the point of saying that we understand the risk. We know what to do. Most people are sensible and cautious. We don’t need stronger impositions to teach us what to do. ‘
It comes after an additional 122,186 laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 cases were recorded in the UK at 9am on Christmas Eve, another daily record number, while 137 people died within 28 days of testing. positive.
Christmas if necessary, and Monday is expected to be the first opportunity
In Scotland, nightclubs will close for at least three weeks from December 27 as part of a package of measures to control the spread of the virus, while clubs in Wales and Northern Ireland will close from Boxing Day.
But in England, the government may choose to issue new voluntary guidance on limiting contacts rather than risk another damaging Conservative rebellion by asking Parliament to impose new rules.
The Prime Minister has indicated that he will not hesitate to act after Christmas if necessary, and Monday is expected to be the first opportunity for ministers to consider whether changes are needed beyond the existing Plan B measures.
Possible new restrictions could include a return to the rule of six and a ban on socializing with another household indoors, and could be in effect until the end of March, according to the government’s scientific advisers.
Covid hospital admissions in London
Covid hospital admissions in London, Omicron’s ground zero in Britain, are within walking distance of the government’s threshold of 400 to introduce lockdown restrictions across the country.
The latest NHS data shows that there were 386 new admissions for the virus in the capital on December 22, representing a 92 percent increase over last week’s figure.
Covid hospitalizations are now doubling roughly every 10 days, although they are still a far cry from the 850 at last January’s peak.
Johnson may have to make a call about more restrictions no later than Tuesday so they can be implemented in time for New Year’s Eve, The Times reports.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols Quick and Facts
- Boris Johnson is set to restrict imposing further restriction in England
- Leader of Catholics said churches were ‘not places where we spread the virus’
- Cardinal Vincent Nichols called on ministers to avoid closing places of worship
- Religious buildings were closed in March until July 2020 amid Covid lockdown