What is plan B and when will Covid restrictions come into force?

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that Plan B measures will go into effect in England from next week to limit the spread of the Omicron COVID variant.

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At a Downing Street press conference, he warned that it was clear the new strain was “growing much faster” than the Delta version.

He said Omicron cases could double every two or three days as he tightened England’s rules to slow the spread of Covid.


Mr Johnson said Christmas parties and nativities could go ahead, but urged people to “take precautions” and get their booster jabs.

He announced that compulsory wearing of masks would be extended from Friday to indoor public places including theatres, cinemas and places of worship – but would not be required in pubs and restaurants, while the work-from-home guidance where possible was returned on Monday. Will go

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The NHS COVID pass, which can be obtained by two vaccines or a negative lateral flow test, will be offered for entry into nightclubs and other large venues from 15 December, with the new rules calling Mr Johnson “proportionate and responsible”. goes.

The COVID health certificates will be applicable for indoor spaces with no more than 500 attendees and outdoors where there are more than 4,000 people.

The prime minister said the pass could be achieved with a negative lateral flow test or two doses of a vaccine, but indicated that this could change, saying “we will keep this under review as the booster rolls out”. are gone”.

Lawmakers are expected to vote on the measures, during which many Tory rebels angered by the sanctions are expected to oppose the government.

In response to the identification of the new Omicron variant at a press conference on 27 November, the prime minister had already announced that face masks would once again become mandatory in shops and on public transport, with travel and countries on the “red list”. Will be connected. And newcomers arriving from overseas will be required to undergo PCR tests and potentially self-isolate for 10 days.

But he had stalled at that point in fully implementing the Plan B contingency strategy drawn up in September.

Mr Johnson was forced on Wednesday to convince the public of the “critical importance” of the measures as he faced questions at a hastily held press conference about how he could accept his rules amid anger over the allegations. Downing Street employees broke Covid rules at a Christmas party last year.

He added: “The best way to make sure we all have Christmas as close as possible is to go ahead with Plan B, although it’s troubling that it’s not a lockdown.

“We don’t want birth plays to be cancelled, we think it’s currently okay on what we can see to continue with Christmas parties, but obviously everyone should take precautions. “

The prime minister also denied doubts that he had brought forward the announcement to divert attention from the row and leaked video showed No 10 employees laughing about the sanctions after the alleged party, which on Wednesday hit government aide Allegra. Stratton forced his resignation.

“Just imagine that fakes, colleagues say, or people say, we’re somehow making this announcement to coincide with events in politics, really imagine if this move was followed by political events of one kind or another.” What will people say then? You have to act to protect public health once there is clear evidence,” he said.

Standing next to Mr Johnson on the same podium where Ms Stratton remarked, England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty acknowledged the anger when people feel “this is unfair”.

But he said it was “quite different from people who really wanted to know what was happening and then make a decision”.

Simultaneously in the Commons, Health Secretary Sajid Javid warned that there have been 568 confirmed cases of Omicron, but the true figure is estimated to be “probably closer to 10,000”.

But he also faced the brunt of “resignation” as he updated lawmakers on the new restrictions, which he said would be reviewed on January 5.

But shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said Labor supports the new restrictions as being “in the national interest”, meaning they will almost certainly be approved in the Commons.

Senior sources in Whitehall said a meeting of the government’s COVID-O committee had been called to discuss restrictions, while Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said a new UK-wide lockdowns to tackle the threat of omicrons can no longer be ruled out, despite high vaccination rates in the UK.


Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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