Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there won’t be any further restrictions brought in before Christmas — but can’t rule out more measures after Christmas.
In a video posted to social media, Mr Johnson said there was “no doubt that Omicron continues to surge with speed, unlike anything we’ve seen before”.
“The situation remains extremely difficult, but I also recognise that people have been waiting to hear whether their Christmas plans are going to be affected,” he said.
“What I can say tonight is that naturally we can’t rule out any further measures after Christmas, and we’re going to keep a constant eye on the data — we will do whatever it takes to protect public health.
“But, in view of the continuing uncertainty about several things – the severity of Omicron, uncertainty about the hospitalisation rates or the impact of the vaccine rollout and the boosters – we don’t think today that there is enough evidence to justify any tougher measures before Christmas.
“We continue to monitor Omicron very closely and if the situation deteriorates we will be ready to take action if needed.”
He said the situation remained “finely balanced” and urged residents to exercise caution and protect themselves and their loved ones, including waring face coverings, keeping air circulating and taking tests prior to visiting relatives.
He also repeated calls for people to get their booster jab as soon as possible.