Full official notes from the latest Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage) meeting – published Friday – show that experts believe teleworking is a “very relevant” way to reduce transmission of the new species.
The Sage Committee also warned ministers that they may not be able to wait for data on omicron before deciding whether to impose further restrictions.
The document states that “even if the measures are introduced immediately, there may not be time to be fully ascertain whether they are sufficient before there is a need for decisions on further action.”
It comes as Professor Adam Fane, a member of the Government’s Joint Commission on Immunization and Immunization (JCVI), has recommended people return to work from home.
“The more people who can work from home now, the better, so we can be more specific about what’s going to happen,” said Professor Finn. Watchman.
The Bristol University expert added: “We need to buy time. If it goes extinct in three weeks, that’s okay, we can all relax, but for now is the time when you can prevent a big wave.”
The warning came before another 75 cases of the omicron variant were confirmed in England, doubling the UK’s total.
The UK’s Health Security Agency said Friday night that cases have now been detected in the East Midlands, East England, London, North East, North West, South East, South West and West Midlands.
A total of 104 cases have been identified in England, with another 45 in Scotland and one in Wales.
Earlier this week, Professor Susan Michy, a member of the Sage panel, said working from home should be reintroduced to combat omicron transmission.
“If you wait until we make sure you lose it,” she said. I. “You have to act fast, you need to act seriously and you need to act before you really need to act.
Minutes from the latest leaked version of Sage earlier this week warned that the alternative could see a “very large wave” of Covid infections in the UK and may need “strict” rules to protect the NHS.
The full document released Friday afternoon warned that introducing vaccine passports and working from home guidelines remain potential ways to respond to Omicron in the coming days.
“Sage’s previous advice on measures to reduce transmission remains highly relevant, including but not limited to advice on ventilation, face coverings, hand hygiene, reduced contact (eg by working from home), vaccination certification, and the importance of effective testing and tracing connection and isolation,” the document states.
The Liberal Democrats have urged the government to provide guidelines recommending a return to remote work – saying ministers would be “crazy” to ignore scientists’ advice.
“How many times does Sage need to recommend ‘working from home’ before the government actually listens?” said Health Party spokeswoman Daisy Cooper MP.
The MP added: “Working from home is a cheap and simple way to reduce contacts and transmission of the Covid virus, and the government is crazy to ignore it.”
The government is due to review its latest restrictions – the reintroduction of mandatory mask-wearing in stores and the public – within three weeks.
But ministers have made clear that they do not want to see the return of work-from-home guidelines – one of the so-called “Plan B” measures.
Health Minister Sajid Javid has suggested that the government may advance its review and lift the current restrictions earlier than planned. “We may not even need to wait three weeks,” he said earlier this week.
It comes as NHS England said the rollout of the Covid booster vaccines would be effective “no later than” December 13, after the government decided that the time between the second dose and the booster should be cut from six to three months.
Meanwhile, the majority of known Omicron Covid cases in England have been found to have been in people who have had at least two vaccines.
Of the first 22 omicron cases analyzed, 12 were linked to people who discovered they had been infected more than 14 days after receiving a recent jab, according to the UK’s Health Security Agency.
In a worrying development, South African scientists report that omicron appears more likely than previous variants to cause re-infection among people who have already contracted Covid.
In more encouraging news, a British report suggests that taking a third blow to Covid leads to good levels of protection from the virus. The CovBoost study was published in scalpel It was found that the body’s T-cell immune response to boosters provides powerful protection from serious disease and death.