Plan B: new rules come into effect after Omicron spread
From 10 December 2021, England will adopt Plan B Covid-19 measures, in an effort to ‘slow the spread’ of the Omicron variant, and ‘get more boosters in arms’, the Prime Minister has said. There are concerns that rates of Omicron could be doubling every 2 to 3 days, this variant spreads rapidly. Vaccines and testing are to remain the best line of defence – over 40s can now book their booster jabs.
New guidance will include:
- Friday 10 December: Face masks will be mandatory in most public settings, including theatres and cinemas – but not bars and restaurants, starting on 10 December.
- Monday 13 December: People should work from home if they can, for a ‘limited period’
- Wednesday 15 December: Nightclubs and other large venues will require proof of Covid-19 vaccination of at least two doses from 15 December, using the NHS Covid Pass on the NHS App.
- Daily tests for those who come into contact with Covid-19 positive person, instead of the 10-day self-isolation period.
These regulations will be reviewed in three weeks, and set to expire six weeks after implementation.
Today the NHS confirmed a huge expansion of the booster programme, with the National Booking Service now open to all those aged over 40 to book their jabs. The dose interval has also been shortened from six months to three months, with those eligible now able to book a month in advance – two months after their second dose.