Boris Johnson says he is 'absolutely confident' that Christmas will be 'better ...

Boris Johnson says he is 'absolutely confident' that Christmas will be 'better ...
Boris Johnson says he is 'absolutely confident' that Christmas will be 'better ...

Boris Johnson has said he is 'pretty to absolutely confident' that this Christmas is 'going to be better' than last year's during a Covid press conference on Saturday. 

The prime minister's comment came as he refused to rule out another lockdown over the festive period while fielding questions from journalists following the discovery of the new super-mutant Omicron variant in Britain. 

The strain - designated a 'variant of concern' by the World Health Organisation on Friday - has been detected in Nottingham and Brentwood in Essex, in two people who had recently returned from southern Africa. 

There are fears the 'monster' variant could plunge the country into another lockdown over concerns it can dodge the vaccine and is more effective at re-infecting people. 

Appearing inside Downing Street, Mr Johnson said: 'We continue to be in a strong position largely thanks to the speed of the vaccine rollout, another booster rollout and I think I'm going to stick with the formula I've used before, which is I'm pretty confident to absolutely confident this Christmas will be considerably better than last Christmas.'

He later backed up his comment, saying: 'I think it will be considerably better than last year.'   

Boris Johnson said he is 'pretty to absolutely confident' that this Christmas will be 'considerably better than last Christmas' during a special Covid briefing at Downing Street on Saturday

Boris Johnson said he is 'pretty to absolutely confident' that this Christmas will be 'considerably better than last Christmas' during a special Covid briefing at Downing Street on Saturday 

The prime minister's comment came as he refused to rule out another lockdown over the festive period as he fielded questions from journalists following the discovery of the new super-mutant Omicron variant in Britain (Pictured: Boris during Covid briefing on Saturday)

The prime minister's comment came as he refused to rule out another lockdown over the festive period as he fielded questions from journalists following the discovery of the new super-mutant Omicron variant in Britain (Pictured: Boris during Covid briefing on Saturday)

Cases of Omicron have already been picked up in the UK, South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong, Israel and Belgium. It is not yet known whether the variant arrived in the Netherlands yesterday but Dutch authorities are sequencing passengers' tests. There are also suspected individual cases being sequenced in Germany, the Czech Republic and Australia

Cases of Omicron have already been picked up in the UK, South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong, Israel and Belgium. It is not yet known whether the variant arrived in the Netherlands yesterday but Dutch authorities are sequencing passengers' tests. There are also suspected individual cases being sequenced in Germany, the Czech Republic and Australia

Britain has sequenced two cases of the Omicron variant in Nottingham and Chelmsford, Sajid Javid said today

Britain has sequenced two cases of the Omicron variant in Nottingham and Chelmsford, Sajid Javid said today

The Conservative leader appeared alongside Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.

On the threat of another lockdown, Sir Patrick said the UK does not have enough information to create modelling yet.

The expert said that so far we know that 'there are pockets of rapidly growing

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