Boris Johnson announces move to 'Plan B' for Covid restrictions
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
As the new Covid variant Omicron continues its spread through communities and daily case numbers rise, there are concerns that despite introducing tougher measures, on Wednesday – including the return of guidance to work from home where possible – that Boris Johnson might have to go one step further and introduce supposed ‘Plan C’ rules as early as next week.
Last Wednesday, the Prime Minister announced he was tightening Covid rules for the UK to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed by the pandemic, this winter.
New rules that were revealed included expanding the list of indoor venues that masks are now required to be worn in – such as theatres and cinemas.
The Government’s guidance to work from home where possible – that had been issued at previous points of the pandemic – was also reintroduced.
However, despite Mr Johnson’s Covid winter ‘Plan B’ now being completely in force, concerns are growing that they might not be enough, and there may be a need to strengthen regulations as soon as next week.
So, what rules could the PM look to introduce should he feel it necessary?
Hospitality check in’s
From this Wednesday (December 15) anyone who wishes to enter a number of indoor venues – such as nightclubs – will need an NHS Covid Pass to do so.
Currently, this rule does not apply to pubs or restaurants but they could soon become the next businesses to be targeted by the Government.
At the start of 2020 this measure was in place but was later abandoned, in part because of the ‘pingdemic’ – which led to thousands of customers and staff having to self-isolate.
When August arrived the rule was altered so that anyone who was fully vaccinated no longer had to self-isolate if they were tagged by the app.
The Government instead encouraged people who came into close contact with a positive Covid case to take a PCR test.
Face masks in all indoor spaces
Mr Johnson tightened the rule with regards to wearing face masks in indoor spaces earlier this week.
People are now required to wear face coverings in most indoor spaces, but some are still exempt.
For example, it is not mandatory for you to wear a face mask whilst in hospitality settings, gyms or leisure centres.
Were the Government to look to reinforce this rule these areas could come under threat.
Inmates take swift revenge on tragic Arthur’s ‘evil’ stepmother [INSIGHT]
Frost stands firm [ANALYSIS]
Rishi Sunak’s staff also held office drinks party during lockdown [NEWS]
Stricter isolation rules
As previously mentioned, rules around isolation periods were eased during the summer, which meant that those who were double-vaccinated no longer had to stay at home for 10 days, if they came into contact with an infected person.
This rule was tweaked slightly after the Omicron variant emerged last month so that anyone who came into contact with a suspected case of the variant had to self-isolate.
However, the Government re-worded the measure again on Wednesday when they announced that people could avoid this so long as they take daily tests.
Were the mandatory 10-day isolation rule to be reintroduced by Downing Street it’s not likely to be met with great public reception.
Covid restrictions across the UK are being strengthened as daily case numbers rise once more.
Some 58,194 new Covid cases were reported by the UK yesterday – the highest daily increase since January 9 this year.
Moreover, 448 new cases of the Omicron variant were announced within the British Isles, yesterday, taking the total overall to 1,265 – as of Friday, December 10.
Omicron cases are currently being detected the most in London and the East Midlands.
Source: Read Full Article