As infection rates of the Omicron COVID-19 variant rise across the UK, the Government has decided to implement its Plan B measures to restrict the spread of the virus.
Although this announcement was expected, and details of it widely publicised beforehand, here is what you need to know:
- The return of work from home guidance – From Monday (13 December), office workers should work from home, where possible, to reduce the number of people they come into contact with. Anyone who cannot work from home, due to the requirements of their employment, should continue to go into work.
- Mandatory Covid-status certificates in certain settings – From next Wednesday (15 December) ‘Covid passports’, demonstrating that a person has been vaccinated and taken a negative lateral flow test, will be required to enter some indoor and larger outdoor venues, including:
- unseated indoor events with more than 500 attendees
- unseated outdoor events with more than 4,000 guests
- large outdoor events with crowds of more than 10,000 people.
A full list of conditions for this requirement can be found here.
- Mandatory face coverings in more locations – From 9 December, the rules on face coverings will be extended to hospitality venues, such as cinemas, theatres and places of worship. However, they won’t be needed in places "where it is not practical to wear one", like when eating, drinking or exercising.
At present, the Government hasn’t given any indication of additional financial support to help businesses with these rules.
However, these new measures for England are much less stringent than those announced last winter and many similar rules are already in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
While certain industries may experience a greater impact due to these changes, early indications are that the wider economy should be less affected due to the preparedness of many businesses.
Here for you
It is understandable, given the events of the last few years, that you may have concerns about the latest restrictions.
We just want to reassure you that whatever happens we are here and ready to offer our support, so let us know if you have any concerns.