Omicron: The Netherlands closes down for Christmas, will the UK do the same?

With Christmas only five days away and COVID cases exploding in the UK, talks of a lockdown are heavily circulating.

Now that the Netherlands have officialised a national lockdown, will the Brits be put under similar restrictions to halt the spread of the virus?

Lockdown for the Netherlands

Until at leat mid-January, the Netherlands will have all non-essential businesses closed and social gatherings will be limited as much as possible. In a statement, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said:

To sum it up in one sentence, the Netherlands will go back into lockdown from tomorrow. I can now hear the whole of the Netherlands sighing. This is exactly one week before Christmas, another Christmas that is completely different from what we would like.

And now, health ministers across the UK are considering taking similar action, as modelling has shown that the NHS could soon become much too overwhelmed in light of the Omicron variant.

Thousands of lives could be lost

According to SAGE, the worst case scenario could see the UK losing 1000 lives a day as was the case back in January of this year. As it stands currently, officials are waiting to see whether Plan B restrictions have worked well enough to warrant not going under lockdown, but time is limited and action is required to prevent the worst from happening. Imperial College professor Neil Ferguson explained that:

We’re ahead of the rest of Europe in terms of the Omicron wave. I agree that time is of the essence. I think if we’re going to make additional decisions—which remains to be seen—they probably will need to be made in the next week or two to have a substantial impact.

And added:

The thing we’re most anxiously looking at, analysing, is what is happening to hospitalisation numbers – the key indicator in terms of how well we’re coping with this epidemic.
A new strain of coronavirus has been discovered in the UK A new strain of coronavirus has been discovered in the UK