Javid: Covid curbs will return in England if cases get out of control

Health secretary says emergence of new variant or pressure on NHS will trigger fresh measures

Covid restrictions will return if the virus gets “out of control” again this year, the UK health secretary has said, with a dangerous new variant or the NHS at risk of being overwhelmed identified as the moment “plan B” could be triggered.

Sajid Javid said he thought another lockdown was unlikely but admitted it would be “irresponsible” to rule out ordering people stay at home in England for a fourth time since the pandemic began.

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