COVID-19 autumn and winter plan published
Winter is always a challenging time for the NHS. This winter could be particularly difficult due to the impact of COVID-19, on top of the usual increase in emergency demand and seasonal flu.
The government will aim to sustain the progress made and prepare the country for future challenges, while ensuring that the NHS does not come under unsustainable pressure.
Plans to achieve this include:
- building our defences through pharmaceutical interventions – vaccines, antivirals and disease modifying therapeutics
- identifying and isolating positive cases to limit transmission – test, trace and isolate
- supporting the NHS and social care – managing pressures and recovering services
- advising people on how to protect themselves and others – clear guidance and communications
- pursuing an international approach – helping to vaccinate the world and managing risks at the border
This is Plan A. However, the pandemic can change course rapidly and unexpectedly. The government will remain vigilant and monitor the data closely, taking the necessary action to support and protect the NHS.
In preparation, the government is undertaking contingency planning in case Plan A is not sufficient to keep the virus at manageable levels, so that the public and businesses know what to expect.
Steps are also being taken to ensure that the UK has the best protection available from vaccines beyond this autumn and winter.