This week, the Prime Minister announced that due to the new Covid variant, we will be moving to Plan B.
Here is a link to the Prime Minister’s announcement of a move to Plan B. The main points are:
- From Monday, the Government will reintroduce the guidance to work from home. Employers should use the rest of this week to discuss working arrangements with their employees
- From this Friday, Government will further extend the legal requirement to wear a face mask to most public indoor venues, including theatres and cinemas.
- There will be exemptions where it is not practical, such as when eating, drinking, exercising or singing.
- 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.
- NHS Covid Pass will be mandatory for entry into nightclubs, and venues where large crowds gather including:
- unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people,
- unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people
- and any venue with more than 10,000 people.
- NHS Covid Pass can still be obtained with two doses but we will keep this under review as the boosters roll out. Having considered the evidence since the emergence of Omicron, proof of a negative lateral flow test will also be accepted.
- Daily tests will be introduced for people who have had contacts, instead of isolation
People are being advised to test using a lateral flow device, particularly before entering a high-risk setting involving people you wouldn’t normally come into contact with, or when visiting a vulnerable person. Lateral flow devices remain free of charge and can be collected from local pharmacies.
The government will keep the data under constant review. The regulations set to expire six weeks after implementation, with a review after three weeks. We will share updates to the guidance as and when we receive them.
Further Updated Guidance
Accommodation primary Guidance Updated
The primary guidance for accommodation businesses has been updated with changes to the sections on:
- priority actions
- face coverings
- testing and vaccination
- guests who need to self-isolate
- guests who are quarantining after international travel.
Approved Countries and Territories Guidance Updated
There has been an update to the guidance on countries and territories with approved COVID-19 proof of vaccination for travel to England to state that people arriving into England from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Latvia and Ukraine can now use the EU Digital COVID Certificate to add proof of vaccination status in the UK passenger locator form.
There is also an update to say that people aged 12 years and over must COVID-19 test before they travel to England from abroad.
And that the requirement to take a COVID-19 test has changed from within 3 days of travel to England to within 2 days.
And that people just transiting through England now need to have a Covid Test prior to arrival into the country
Visa Guidance Updated
The Home Office has updated the guidance on visa applications to remove the ability for people in Red List countries to use the ‘priority service’ or ‘super priority service’ when applying to enter the UK.