Boris Johnson announced last night (8.12.21) that face masks will be compulsory in most public places once more and people should be encouraged to work from home, if possible, in a bid to limit the spread of Omicron.
As part of the move to Plan B in England, covid passes will be needed to get into nighclubs and large venues from next week.
The key changes are outlined below:
From Friday 10 December
- face coverings will become compulsory in most public indoor venues, such as cinemas, theatres and places of worship. There will be exemptions in venues where it is not practical to wear one, such as when you are eating, drinking or exercising. For that reason, face masks will not be required in hospitality settings.
From Monday 13 December
- those who can will be advised to work from home.
From Wednesday 15 December
- he NHS Covid Pass on the NHS App will become mandatory for entry into nightclubs and settings where large crowds gather – including unseated indoor events with 500 or more attendees, unseated outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees and any event with 10,000 or more attendees.
- People will be able to demonstrate proof of two vaccine doses via the app. Having considered the evidence since the emergence of Omicron, proof of a negative lateral flow test will also be accepted.
Updates on wearing a face covering
From 10 December, face coverings will be required by law in most indoor public places and on public transport, including taxis. See a full list of places where you must wear a face covering.
There are some exemptions. You do not have to wear a face covering in hospitality settings such as cafés, restaurants and pubs. This is because it is not practical to keep removing face coverings to eat or drink.
You do not need to wear a face covering in nightclubs or certain other night-time venues, including dance halls and discotheques. This is because it is not recommended that you wear a face covering while exercising or during strenuous physical activity, including dancing.
Settings which are exempt from wearing a face covering include:
- Restaurants, cafés and canteens
- Bars and shisha bars
- Gyms & exercise facilities
- Photography studios
- Nightclubs, dance halls and discotheques
In indoor settings where a face covering is not legally required, you should still continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet.
How will the NHS Covid pass requirement affect events?
The government has today published an update for people who work in settings related to events and visitor attractions.
Full guidance can be found here. We strongly advise you read through the new requirements to ensure your venue or event is in line with the new rules coming in on 15th December.
What are the other main updates?
Full guidance for those who work in restaurants, pubs, bars, takeaways and nightclubs can be on the government website.
Tests required for travel to England
From 4am on Tuesday 7 December anyone aged 12 and over must show a negative PCR or lateral flow test result before travelling to England from abroad. You must take the test in the 2 days before you travel to England.
You must also take a PCR test within 2 days of arriving and self-isolate until you get a negative test result, even if you’re fully vaccinated. Check what you need to do to travel to England from another country.
Changes to the red list for international travel
Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia have all moved to the travel red list. You can only enter England from these countries if you are a UK or Irish resident. You must quarantine in a managed hotel on arrival and take 2 COVID-19 tests.
If you’re a contact of someone who may have been infected with the Omicron variant, you must self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of your age, vaccination status or any negative test results.
People aged 40 to 49 can now get a booster vaccine 6 months after their second dose. Book your vaccination appointment online or find a walk-in clinic. The NHS will contact you when you are eligible to book your booster dose.
Need more info?
This is a confusing and challenging time for everyone as we move into new measures. So, if you have any further questions or need to chat about options moving forward with your business, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with your account manager.
We’re here for you at this difficult time and want to support you and your business in any way we can. Chat to us on 0300 124 6866.