RT – There won’t be a new lockdown if everyone gets vaccinated and takes booster shots, and masks up indoors, US President Joe Biden said in response to questions about his plans to deal with the Omicron strain of Covid-19.
Speaking to reporters at the White House on Monday, Biden said “the best protection against this variant or any of the variants out there, ones we’ve been dealing with already, is getting fully vaccinated and getting a booster shot.”
Asked about the possibility of a lockdown, the US president said “there’s no need” for one, but cautioned that his administration is still reviewing the data about the latest variant of concern. He said there won’t be a new lockdown, but a push for “more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing, and more!” A detailed strategy will be announced on Thursday.
“I expect the new normal to be, everyone ends up getting vaccinated and the booster shot, so we reduce the number of people who aren’t protected to such a low degree that we’re not seeing the spread of these viruses,” he told reporters.
People who are fully vaccinated “can celebrate the holidays much more safely than where we were last year,” Biden said, adding “That’s a blessing none of us should take for granted.”
He also urged Americans to “wear your masks when you’re indoors in public settings around other people to protect you, to protect those around you.”
Biden’s ban on travel from Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Malawi and South Africa – imposed in response to the Omicron variant’s appearance in that region – went into effect on Monday morning.
As of Monday, just over 59% of the total US population has been fully vaccinated, and 21% of those have received a booster jab as well.