THE Queen is keeping calm as Omicron fears engulf the Government — and still plans to hold her annual family Christmas party.
Pubs and businesses say they have been plunged into “lockdown by stealth” by Plan B restrictions.
Last night the PM faced his biggest rebellion as nearly 100 Tory MPs opposed the moves including Covid passes for major events.
Meanwhile, Prince Charles joined The Sun’s Jabs Army and hailed the work of vaccine volunteers.
Charles, 73, told the vaccinators and volunteers at a walk-in unit: “You are marvellous. What would we do without you?”
The Lambeth GP Federation centre — in a church hall in Kennington, South London — is doing more than 3,000 boosters a day.
His visit with wife Camilla, 74, came as the NHS revealed 562,800 jabs were doled out on Monday — 513,722 of them boosters.
The speed of the booster rollout is crucial to saving Christmas for millions of families.
Most read in Health
Omicron numbers rise by 633 as Covid infections hit same level as January
Brits at risk of DUAL infection from Omicron & Delta, vaccine boss warns
Omicron map shows earliest hotspots as cases spread rapidly in weeks
New unusual Omicron symptom revealed as common signs are DIFFERENT
It is why The Sun’s renewed Jabs Army campaign — backed by Camilla in yesterday’s paper — is trying to recruit 30,000 volunteers.
The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall will be among 50 or so members of the Royal Family expected at Windsor Castle next Tuesday for The Queen’s Christmas lunch.
? Read our Covid-19 live blog for the latest updates
Moves to cancel the event for the second year running due to Covid are being resisted.
There will be wine, crackers and a feast inside the castle with extended family — before the Queen sets off for Sandringham, Norfolk, for Christmas itself.
The Royal Family Christmas Day gathering at Sandringham and trip to St Mary Magdalene Church is also currently not expected to be derailed by virus fears.
It will be the monarch’s first Christmas in 73 years without her husband Prince Philip, who died at the age of 99 in April.
A source said: "Currently it is going ahead but obviously it will be under review right up until the last moment."
Tuesday's party has been moved from Buckingham Palace to Windsor where the Queen remains on “light duties” after health scares.
An insider said: “It is Windsor Castle so it will be pretty easy to socially distance if needed.
“There is no way the Queen wants to let anything get in the way of a family event like this.
“Particularly with the year she has had after losing her husband and being forced to go on light duties on doctor’s orders.
“It will likely be the first time so many family members have been together since Philip’s funeral.
“But obviously everyone must act responsibly and things can change in a short period of time but as it stands they’re all set for Tuesday.”
The Queen yesterday held a virtual audience via video link from Windsor Castle with Azerbaijan ambassador Elin Suleymanov at Buckingham Palace.
HOW TO JOIN
VOLUNTEERS can register online at nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk or by scanning the QR code above with your smartphone.
You will be asked to download the GoodSAM Responder app, which will match you to a role.
You need commit to only two six-hour shifts a month at a jabs centre. Your expenses will be covered and no experience or qualifications are needed.
You will be in a team with NHS staff and volunteers. The Royal Voluntary Service will make appropriate background checks.
GO TO: nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk
Next week she will play hostess to members of her extended family — not all of whom will be with her for Christmas Day.
Three of her four new grandchildren — August, Lucas and Siena — all born this year are expected to join the party.
But US-based Prince Harry, Meghan, Archie and their daughter Lilibet, who was also born this year, will not fly over for the bash.
A day or so after the Christmas party, the Queen is expected to catch a helicopter to Sandringham to begin her festive break — and be joined by loved ones later.
The Queen was forced to have last Christmas at Windsor for the first time in 33 years.
She has already recorded her Christmas Day telly address.
Cameras from ITV filmed her at Windsor Castle several weeks ago.
In Lambeth, masked Charles blasted vaccine hesitancy saying: “It is so frustrating all these nonsense conspiracy theories.”
He also spoke to some of the hundreds who were resting after getting jabbed.
He said: “So many marvellous people have been volunteering. I am glad you didn’t have to wait too long.”
'DOING HIS BIT'
He spoke to Kate Suiter, a former picture editor who trained eight months ago to be a vaccinator.
Afterwards she said: “He said thank you for helping and I joked that I had the gift of the jab.
“He laughed and said ‘I’m going to use that’.”
The prince watched some of the vaccinators — who included university medical students — deliver booster jabs to those who waited patiently.
Abdul Mukadam, 53, lead GP for Covid vaccinations for Lambeth, said afterwards: “Charles thanked and acknowledged every vaccionator and volunteer he met.
“He thanked them for the hard work they have been doing.
“Everybody has been doing their bit whether it is training as a vaccinator, coming as a volunteer or turning up to get the booster — and Charles was doing his bit by coming to acknowledge the efforts.
“It is a welcome acknowledgement and there are a lot of people out there in the whole country doing their bit.
“In a way this was an acknowledgement and thanks for all of them.
“The NHS couldn’t have done this on their own without all these volunteers.”
A spokesman for the Queen did not want to comment.
15-min dose wait axed
HEALTH chiefs have ditched the 15-minute waiting rule after a jab — allowing the NHS to give an extra 950,000 weekly doses.
Bosses estimate dropping the red tape will supercharge booster rollout by 30 per cent.
It comes as 562,800 doses were given yesterday, a record for a Monday.
Until now, Brits were forced to hang around after their third shot to ensure they did not suffer a rare allergic reaction.
But health experts want to get ahead of the Omicron variant.
The NHS in England experienced a fresh surge in booster bookings, with 655,000 over-30s securing an appointment, the second highest on record.
More than 24 million Brits have now had their third shot, including three in four over-75s, and from today over-18s can book a booster appointment
Dr Emily Lawson said: “NHS staff are working flat out to set up more sites and extra appointments.”
Another 59,610 positive Covid cases were reported yesterday – the highest number since early January.
And a further 150 deaths, taking the UK pandemic total to 146,627.
We pay for your stories!
Do you have a story for The Sun news desk?
Email us at [email protected] or call 0207 782 4104. You can WhatsApp us on 07423 720 250. We pay for videos too.
Click here to upload yours.
Click here to get The Sun newspaper delivered for FREE for the next six weeks.
Source: Read Full Article