BORIS Johnson is poised to announce Plan B restrictions – meaning work from home and vaccine passports will be introduced imminently.
Boris Johnson WILL bring in new measures to tackle Omicron in a fresh blow for Christmas hopes, government sources have told The Sun. Here’s what we know about Plan B.
Experts fear Britain’s Covid Plan B may need to be implemented over winterCredit: LNP
What is Plan B Covid in the UK?
The government has set out plans to tackle Covid over autumn and winter.
This contains the preferred Plan A, which will be followed if the number of infections remains manageable and the NHS is not overwhelmed, and Plan B, if the health service starts to struggle.
Plan A focuses on continuing with the vaccine roll-out.
This means offering it to healthy 12 to 15-year-olds, encouraging those who have not yet come forward to do so, and moving forward with the booster jab programme for those most at risk.
It will also encourage Brits to take up free flu jabs, as well as frequent testing, self-isolation when necessary and the NHS Covid Pass to check vaccination or test status.
Plan B on the other hand will mean the return of measures seen in the UK’s various lockdowns.
This could include making face coverings and vaccine passports mandatory in certain locations, returning to working from home, and generally urging the public to behave more cautiously.
It has been claimed that some parts of England will see Plan B measures in the next few days as coronavirus infections continue to rise.
Will Plan B be introduced?
The Prime Minister will announce new Plan B measures today, December 8, and they could come into effect “as early as tomorrow” with a meeting of the core ‘Covid O’ Cabinet committee set for later to sign off the details.
He said the key response to Omicron has to be to buy time – which can be done by tightening restrictions at the border.
The package of measures (re)introduced today are adequate to combat the Delta variant which is currently dominant, the PM says.
Previously, in response to a question about why he is not implementing further plan B measures such as telling people to work from home, Boris Johnson cited the differences between the Delta and Omicron variant and its approach to “slow the seeding” through the border measures being introduced, accelerating the booster programme and giving scientists more time to understand the variant.
What are the Plan B Covid restrictions?
Under Plan B all but essential workers will be asked to work remotely like they did between March 2020 and last July’s Freedom Day.
Vaccine passports – which the Government has been planning to introduce – will also be launched for large venues like football matches and nightclubs.
At the moment the definition of fully-vaccinated is two jabs rather than three.
Mandatory face masks – the third prong of the Government’s Plan B – are already in force for shops and public transport after coming in last week to stem the rising tide of Omicron.
This will likely be extended to all “crowded and enclosed settings” to be determined.
A senior official said it was likely the new measures would be introduced as early as tomorrow morning – but Downing St sources stressed “no decisions have been made”.