A covid “plan C” has been proposed, according to Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) science chief Professor Lucy Chappell.
The Governments senior scientific adviser admitted that the idea of so-called ‘plan C’ restrictions has been discussed should the surge in covid cases get worse.
Last week, health minister Edward Argar denied there was a harsher ‘plan c’ option which could see mixing between households banned over Christmas if the current back up plan fails to suppress the spread of the virus.
And speaking in front of a parliamentary committee, Professor Lucy Chappell, chief scientific adviser at the DHSC, was asked about the plans.
“[Plan C] has been proposed – the name has been mentioned,” she said.
“It is not being extensively worked up – people have used the phrase.”
The revelation came following a question from Rebecca Long-Bailey – to which Prof Chapelle said that “plan A and plan B and whatever the plan C looks like” are not mutually exclusive.
Asked further by the Science and Technology Committee’s chair, Greg Clark, about the matter, Prof Chappell said “at the moment the focus is on plan B”.
Asked if they were aware of preparations beyond plan B, Dr Thomas Waite, the interim deputy chief medical officer at the DHSC said he had not been consulted on the matter of Plan C, and Prof Chapell shook her said and said no.
A government spokesman said: “As we have repeatedly made clear, there is no plan C. We knew the coming months would be challenging which is why we set out our Plan A and Plan B for autumn and winter last month.
“We are monitoring all the data closely and the government remains committed to taking further action if necessary to protect the NHS from being overwhelmed.”
On Thursday last week, Mr Argar was asked by Sky News’ Kay Burley about reports that “plan C” would involve a ban on different households mixing.
The minister said: “Of course as a government, as we’ve done with plan B, we look at alternatives and ways that you might, if you needed to, start easing that pressure [on the NHS] but the specifics that are mooted in it, about limiting household mixing, about going back, is that it isn’t something that’s being actively considered.
“There is no intention to reinvent lockdown, one of the reasons we did it last year is we didn’t have the vaccine and earlier this year it was still being rolled out.
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