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GB News presenter Alastair Stewart has condemned Boris Johnson’s “nudge nudge” COVID-19 plan, deeming it “not good enough” to tackle the new Omicron variant. The new measures put in place to deal with the new variant include ‘merely’ mandatory face coverings and compulsory PCR tests within 48 hours of arrival in the UK. But Mr Stewart left no stone unturned in his assessment of Johnson’s lazy new plan, ruing a clear sense of direction for the country.
He has grown tired of “hints of policy: instead of UK residents being given real “instructions” although Mr Johnson is set to review his Covid plan ahead of Christmas.
Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, warned that the world is at risk of going back to square one adding that wealthy countries had been deceived into thinking that the worst was behind us.
Mr Stewart told his audience on GB News: “What I want to ask today is if giving people a nudge is a proper way of running a Public Health Campaign.
“It struck me as a potential problem as the rather silly row developed over Christmas parties with the Prime Minister saying one thing, other ministers saying another and one Minister focussing on snogging.
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“What we were now getting were nudges, hints of a policy rather than instructions.
“But with lives at stake, with our hospitals filling up once again, with infection rates rising sharply as a new and not yet fully understood Covid variant spreads is that good enough?
Mr Alastair then offers revealing insights into ‘nudge’ and its strong links to politicians.
He added: “I think not, my timeline already suggests that many of you disagree with me.
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Alastair Stewart discusses the Government's approach to COVID
“That’s excellent and what we love on this programme. To be clear, and it may surprise some of you, nudge is a real thing in Government.
“It’s up there with orders in councils, bills act and even the real prerogative. Its roots are in the seminal 2008 book ‘Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness’. It’s about using behavioural, economic and psychological insights to influence our behaviour in order to help achieve policy goals.
“Now, hardly surprising, Dave Cameron loved it and when he became Prime Minister in 2010 he actually set up a nudge unit in Number 10 Downing Street.
“Initially it worked on schemes to prompt people to pay their taxes on time, to turn up in court, to use job centres more and even to increase organ donation.”
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Mr Johnson was reported to the police by Labour MPs over allegations that he held at least two Christmas parties in Downing Street despite lockdown restrictions last year.
One of the parties is believed to have taken place in November and the other just before Christmas.
But at the time there were strict lockdown restrictions in place that banned socialising.
Over half of people infected with the Omicron coronavirus variant in England were double jabbed with the number of cases detected in Britain increasing gradually.
Just on Friday night, 75 new cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant were reported in England bringing the total to at least 134 in the UK as a whole.
The new variant has been identified already in London, west and east Midlands, east of England, north-west, south-east and south-west.
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