North East Lincolnshire residents say another lockdown is “inevitable” – with some wanting the Prime Minister to make the call sooner rather than later.
Fresh COVID restrictions could be announced by the government within days as cases soar.
The Omicron variant means that the Prime Minister has no choice but to restrict freedoms again, residents have told the Local Democracy Service.
For people at higher risk from coronavirus, a lockdown can’t come soon enough.
Bob Myles, 67, said: “I have had all of my vaccines and boosters, but sadly I am not able to wear a mask because I have breathing problems.
“I smoked for 45 years, and even though I gave up ten years ago, my breathing is still bad. I’m relying on other people to do the right thing.
“I can guarantee there will be another lockdown. The government are scared of shutting down before Christmas, so they will let the pubs and clubs stay open a bit longer and keep spreading it.
“I booked a meal for six people on Christmas Day but I don’t feel safe going out any more. The restaurant have kindly let us rebook for February when hopefully this will be behind us.”
A woman who is extremely clinically vulnerable said: “A lockdown needs to happen with cases rising so fast.
“You hear so much about the new variant that you don’t know what to believe on how dangerous it is, but it is better to be safe.
“I have been very careful because of my health and am all jabbed up.
“I was planning on a very quiet Christmas anyway so this won’t change that.”
Ministers are currently discussing which – if any – measures should be put in place over the coming weeks.
Restrictions on households mixing and curfews for pubs and restaurants are reportedly on the table.
Derek Jones, 72, said: “The Prime Minister is between a rock and a hard place. He wants to please the public and also protect the public, so he both wants to lock the country down and not lock it down.
“In the end, I’m sure he will have to give in. People need to learn that the virus will come and go rather than disappearing. We’ve had flu jabs for 50 years, and yet that still comes back every year.”
The majority of Grimsby shoppers saw a brief lockdown or circuit break as the sensible option.
John Dutton said “Boris has got to do it. He needs to think about everyone’s safety and do what’s right.
“Obviously it will be very bad for businesses, but what’s the alternative?
“We’ve heard on the news about the thousands of doctors and nurses that could get the virus if nothing happens and not be able to work. Imagine what will that do to hospitals.
“If everyone has the booster and follows the advice, then maybe we will get through it quicker.”
However, another shopper said: “Another lockdown would be dreadful – especially over Christmas. I hope it won’t happen but you never know these days.”
COVID case rates in North East Lincolnshire are currently 448 per 100,000 residents in the most recent data.
However, this may not capture the explosive surge of Omicron cases over the last week.
It has been confirmed that almost 500 cases of the strain have been found in Yorkshire and the Humber, with hundreds more likely going undetected.