Dan Wootton: How can anyone take this scare mongering from Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance seriously anymore?

With at least a million Brits in self isolation, there is the risk of school closures and business shutdowns because of a lack of staff. That is not learning to live with Covid and will be disastrous for the economy.

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Given the very promising way a huge number of cases of Omicron – for most people, just a common cold – has NOT resulted in increased mortality, you would have thought we would have had a very different narrative coming from the Doomsday Duo Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance at today’s dreaded Downing Street press conference.

Chance would be a fine thing! Instead, you had Whitty once again behind his slides admitting there is no evidence of any surge in deaths, while at the same time trying to keep the population terrified of contracting the Cron.

How can anyone take his scare mongering seriously anymore?

Despite the best efforts of the lockdown lobbyists at the BBC, Boris did not give in and announce any more restrictions. So I guess we’re meant to be happy that Plan BS is continuing. Even though we were told these measures would not go on for a single moment longer than necessary.

That said, at least Boris is prepared to stand up to his scare mongering scientific advisers, unlike Nicola Sturgeon or Mark Drakeford. Here’s the truth: All of the people calling for further lockdown measures were wrong, wrong, wrong.

And Boris was right, right, right to finally start talking loudly this evening about the huge economic, social and health destruction caused by lockdowns – something that has been missing in these press conferences for far too long.

Shame on the Labour party for lobbying for further restrictions pre-Christmas to score cheap political points.

But now Boris and the government must go further to restore our freedoms and put us on a genuine path to learning to live with Covid.

The CDC in the USA and the ultra-cautious French administration – which has banned eating and drinking on trains – have both reduced the Covid isolation period to five days. But England is stubbornly keeping it at seven days, assuming you have tested negative on a lateral flow test for two days in a row.

We need to immediately reduce the isolation period to five days to ensure society doesn’t grind to a halt, as the Federation of Small Businesses called for today. The CDC said the virus is more infectious in the two days before and three days after symptoms appear, meaning five days locked up at home is more than enough.

Right now, with at least a million Brits in self isolation, there is the risk of school closures, further rail cancellations and business shutdowns because of a lack of staff. That is not learning to live with Covid and will be disastrous for the economy.