The UK Government has announced the introduction of ‘Plan B’ of their Autumn/Winter COVID-19 response in England following the emergence of the Omicron variant of the virus.
The measures aim to slow the spread of the virus and allow more of the population to have their Booster vaccines, particularly amongst the older and vulnerable population.
The new restrictions include:
- Reintroduction of guidance to work from home where possible (From Monday 13 December).
- From Friday 10 December, mask wearing became a legal requirement in public indoor venues, including theatres and cinemas.
- The NHS Covid pass (also called a Vaccine Passport) will be mandatory for entry into nightclubs and venues where large crowds gather, including unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people, and seated outdoor venues with more than 5000 people and any venue with more than 10,000 people. A Covid pass can currently be obtained after two doses. You can find out more about Covid passes here. A negative lateral flow test is also acceptable.
- Daily tests for contacts will be introduced instead of self-isolation.
The measures will be constantly reviewed against a number of criteria which are efficacy of the vaccine, severity of Omicron, how quickly the virus is spreading and the rate of hospitalisation.