The UK will reinstitute lockdown measures including mandatory mask-wearing and working from home on Friday, December 10th according to a press conference by UK Prime minister Boris Johnson.

Boris Johnson at today’s press conference

Johnson, who is suffering a massive drop in popularity due to revelations that there was an unmasked, crowded Christmas party at Downing Street last year when the entire country had been told to cancel Christmas, is facing harsh criticism and a possible leadership challenge. Despite this, Johnson has chosen to double down and reintroduce a raft of measures, including mandatory vaccine passports for nightclubs and large venues such as football, working from home and mask mandates.

The measures are due to come in on December the 10th.

Many people had warned of this outcome when the government extended its emergency COVID powers a few months ago, although they had assured people at the time that the government needed the measures for a worst-case scenario. However, that was not all. In a shocking move, Johnson echoed recent comments from EU head Ursula Von der Leyen, saying that the country needed to have a ‘conversation’ about mandatory vaccination.

Johnson also hinted that the vaccine pass would be expanded to only cover those with 3 doses, saying that while they were valid for the moment with only 2 jabs, this would be kept “under review as the boosters roll out”.

However, he did provide a loophole, saying that currently, a negative lateral flow test “would also be sufficient” although exactly what this means is unclear.

When asked about mandatory vaccinations, Johnson seemed to be hedging his bets, saying on the one hand that he did not want a society where vaccines were mandated, while simultaneously leaving the door open for mandates:

“I do think we will have to have a conversation about ways in which we deal with this pandemic, because I don’t believe we can keep going indefinitely with non-pharmaceutical interventions such as restrictions on people’s way of life, just because a substantial proportion of the population sadly has not gotten vaccinated.”

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