Capital is preparing itself for the introduction of tougher “Plan B” restrictions aimed at delaying the spread of the new Omron version of COVID-19.
Face masks will be required in more public settings, including cinemas and cinemas, from Friday, under measures announced by Boris Johnson on Wednesday night.
The Prime Minister also said that work-from-home guidance will return and COVID health certificates will become mandatory in large locations from next week.
Mr Johnson is facing opposition from Tory lawmakers after launching Plan B amid allegations at the Downing Street Christmas party last year.
Despite tightening rules, he said Christmas parties and nativities could go ahead, as he stepped in under mounting pressure over a leaked video in which his Downing Street colleagues joked about a festive gathering that resulted in his Former press secretary Allegra Stratton resigns on Wednesday afternoon
Conservative backbenchers have openly questioned the government’s “credibility” in being able to enforce the rules, while many believe Downing Street has violated them.
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Business leaders are concerned about the impact of Plan B measures on certain sectors.
With the spread of the Omicron variant in the UK, the government has said that from 10 December face masks will become mandatory in most public indoor places other than hospitality. Return to work from home from December 13 where possible guidance will be given.
The latter decision is seen as a blow to central London at a time when footfalls were improving after a difficult period for businesses that saw a decline in the number of workers and shoppers in the city and the West End. .
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Leaked number 10 video ‘disturbing’ – Health Secretary
Sajid Javid has been doing the rounds of the media on Thursday morning, following the fallout of the now infamous leaked number 10 video after he was defamed yesterday.
He said that seeing leaked footage of Downing Street colleagues laughing about a “fictional” Christmas party “upset me”, which is why he withdrew from the media presence.
Asked if there has been a party, he said: “The truth is I don’t know. Like the Prime Minister, I have been assured that the rules have been followed.
He said he “doesn’t know” why former press secretary Allegra Stratton had resigned, but an investigation, led by the cabinet secretary, would answer.
Mr Javid said “I understand the anger about that video” but it is right to have a “flexible response” to the pandemic.
The health secretary also said that while Plan B measures were necessary, mandatory vaccination “won’t work”.