All Covid Plan B rules you must follow from today – including vaccine passports

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The government's Plan B Covid measures are now in place across England to deal with the spread of the worrying Omicron variant.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hoping that he wouldn't need to introduce any more restrictions this year in the hope of letting Brits have a normal Christmas.

However, the spread of Omicron coronavirus variant, which some scientists fear is three times as infectious as the main Delta strain, has forced him to act fast.

The PM warned the new strain is "growing much faster" than the Delta variant, and in response the UK is ramping up its Covid vaccine booster rollout.

In response, the government said it would introduce new rules, which come into force today. Here is everything you can and can't do from today, December 12.

Face masks

As of Friday, December 10, face masks must now be worn in even more indoor settings. This includes cinemas, theatres and places of worship.

The legal requirement to wear face coverings has been extended to "most indoor places, at large venues and events, and on public transport".

This includes museums, galleries, community centres, shops, post offices, banks, beauty salons, hairdressers and taxi rides.

Shops and supermarkets had already been told to bring back face mask rules at the end of November.

Working from home

Brits must yet again work from home if they can under new guidance.

However, it's not a legal requirement, which means it's up to each individual office to enforce this rule, or not.

According to the government, "high levels of home working have played a very important role in preventing sustained epidemic growth".

However, according to hospitality industry and transport bosses this has had a huge financial impact on businesses.

Boris said: "Go to work if you must, but work from home if you can. By reducing your contacts in the workplace you will help slow transmission."

Vaccine passports

Covid vaccine passports will now be used as a condition of entry in venues like nightclubs and "crowded outdoor events of more than 4,000 people.

It will also apply to any event with more than 10,000 attendees, including sports venues.

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That means people will have to show proof they have been vaccinated or provide a negative lateral flow test taken in the last 48 hours.

This will apply from December 15.

Testing for Covid contacts

If you've been in contact with someone who may have been infected with the Omicron variant, you're required to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of your age, vaccination status or any negative test results.

However, from Tuesday, December 14, the measure with be axed for those who have been double vaccinated.

Vaccinated Brits need to take daily lateral flow tests for seven days if they have been in contact with any Covid variant, including Omicron.

However, if they are not vaccinated they need to self-isolate for 10 days.

Booster vaccines

The Prime Minister has vowed that everyone over the age of 18 will be able to get a Covid booster jab by the end of December.

Speaking on December 12, he said: "From tomorrow in England, we are opening up the booster to every adult over 18 who has had a second dose of the vaccine at least three months ago.

“The NHS Booking System will be open for these younger age groups from Wednesday, and that’s the best way to guarantee your slot, but in some places you can walk in from tomorrow."

Mr Johnson has said it will require an "extraordinary effort" in a bid to get everyone jabbed as quickly as possible.

Travel

Strict rules for international travel have come into effect over the last few weeks in England.

Everyone aged 12 and over must take a PCR or lateral flow test in the two due before travelling to England. This must show a negative result.

Those coming to England also need to take a PCR test within the two days of arriving in the country. This needs to be booked beforehand.

They need to self isolate until they receive the test result, even if they are fully vaccinated

Pubs and restaurants

Pubs and restaurants remain open, and no new restrictions are being imposed.

Because you need to remove your face mask to eat and drink, rules won't be imposed on hospitals.

Social distancing rules aren't being reintroduced, and there will be no capacity limits as part of Plan B.

Christmas parties

As part of Plan B, Christmas parties are still allowed to go ahead as restaurants and pubs are still open with no capacity limits.

However, ministers are advising Brits to take a lateral flow test before heading to any parties.

There are currently no restrictions on the number of people who can attend these events.

  • Boris Johnson
  • NHS
  • Pubs
  • Christmas
  • Omicron
  • Coronavirus

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