“The Omicron variant continues to cause real problems. You are seeing cases rising in hospitals,” he told reporters.
“But it is obviously milder than the Delta variant and we are able to proceed in the way that we are.”
This is due to the “huge proportion of the British public” which had been vaccinated.
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“That is allowing us to go ahead with New Year in the cautious way that we are.”
Other parts of the UK have introduced stricter measures to try and stem the spread of the new highly transmissible Omicron variant, including closing nightclubs and placing restrictions on other gatherings.
Asked why England had acted differently to the devolved nations, Mr Johnson told reporters: “I think that we’ve looked at the balance of the risks together, we generally concert our strategies together, we see the data showing that, yes, the cases are rising and, yes, hospitalisations are rising, but what is making a huge difference is the level of booster resistance or level of vaccine-induced resistance in the population.
“What we need to do now is really finish off that work. I’ve no doubt at all that by January 1, by the New Year, every adult in the country will have been offered the slot to get a booster. They’ll be given a slot to get one.
As many as 90 per cent of patients in intensive care with coronavirus have not received a booster vaccination, Mr Johnson claimed, as he called on people to make sure that they get the extra jab.