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England to enter PLAN B as Boris announces people should return to working from home

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has announced that people who are able to work from home should do so from Monday 13 December as the Government turns to "Plan B".

Speaking live today, Boris announced he was implementing Plan B in response to the latest COVID-19 variant known as 'Omicron'.

In addition to encouraging people to work from home, Boris also announced that anyone wanting to enter large venues such as nightclubs, will have to prove their "COVID status", by the way of vaccine passports or proof of a negative test.

The rule on face masks will be extended to almost all indoor venues from Friday 10 December, the Prime Minister said.

The new list of restrictions being implemented include:

  • The reintroduction of working from home where possible.

  • The extension of mandatory face masks to be worn in most indoor public venues, such as cinemas and theatres.

  • The NHS COVID passport will be made mandatory to enter large venues such as nightclubs and any place where large amounts of people gather such as sports stadiums.

  • The introduction of daily tests for people who are contacts of Omicron cases, instead of isolation.

What does this mean for hospitality and the transport industry?

Two sectors which suffered severely during the pandemic, with restrictions put in place, were transport, such as the taxi and private hire industry, as well as hospitality.

In recent months, with restrictions being lifted, both sectors have seen a boom in business, but with the latest Plan B announcement, both could now see difficult times return if people choose to remain at home.

From Friday 10 December, face coverings will become compulsory in most public indoor venues, such as cinemas, theatres and places of worship. There will be exemptions in venues where it is not practical to wear one, such as when you are eating, drinking or exercising. For that reason, face masks will not be required in hospitality settings.

From Monday 13 December, those who can will be advised to work from home.

From Wednesday 15 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.

People will be able to demonstrate proof of two vaccine doses via the app. Having considered the evidence since the emergence of Omicron, proof of a negative lateral flow test will also be accepted.

Introducing Covid-status certification from next Wednesday will give businesses a week’s notice, as promised in the Government’s proposals for introducing mandatory certification published in September.

The Government will keep the data under constant review. The regulations set to expire six weeks after implementation, with a review after three weeks.


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