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Coronavirus update: Plan B introduced

The Prime Minister yesterday confirmed that England will move to Plan B following the rapid spread of the
Omicron variant in the UK. As a consequence, the following measures will apply: –

 From Friday 10th December, face coverings, already mandatory by law in England’s shops, supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, public transport, banks and post offices etc. will also become compulsory in most public indoor venues, visitor attractions and entertainment venues such as cinemas, theatres, museums, galleries, places of worship and community centres (including village halls). There will be exemptions in venues where it is not practical to wear one, such as when you are eating, drinking or exercising – consequently, face coverings will not be required in hospitality settings such as pubs and restaurants. More information on the new rules can be found under Details/Updated rules on face coverings in the government guidance here: –

www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

 From Monday 13th December, those who can do so will be advised to work from home

 From Wednesday 15th December, and subject to parliamentary approval, the NHS Covid Pass on the NHS App will become mandatory for entry into nightclubs and settings where large crowds gather – including unseated indoor events with 500 or more attendees, unseated outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees and any event with 10,000 or more attendees.

The Prime Minister also said everyone should test using a lateral flow device, particularly before entering a high-risk setting involving people you wouldn’t normally come into contact with, or when visiting a vulnerable person. Lateral flow devices remain free of charge and can be collected from local pharmacies.

Further guidance on these measures will be provided by the government in the coming days.