Plan C news latest – Omicron Covid restrictions could get TOUGHER from January with possible NHS passports for PUBS

TOUGHER ‘Plan C’ restrictions could be enforced in the New Year if the Omicron variant sees cases surging, according to reports today.

The i says a new package would ramp up current rules by reintroducing the NHS Covid app check-in for pubs and restaurants, making face masks compulsory in all indoor spaces and using vaccine passports for more venues.

It could also see the return of compulsory 10-day isolation for contacts of confirmed cases of all Covid variants – despite whether you're double-jabbed or not.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson's Plan B has today officially kicked in with the introduction of mandatory face coverings in a range indoor settings, including public transport, theatres, cinemas and churches.

Read our Omicron live blog for the latest news and updates…

  • Louis Allwood

    English primary school has first Omicron case confirmed

    Omicron has been detected in a primary school in England for the first time.

    Public health chiefs have urged all parents to get their kids at the school tested before returning to classes.

    The case was found at Manor Community Primary School in Kent.

    All year five students, aged nine or ten, have been advised to stay home and get tested, the Mirror reports.

    A year four class at the school has also been strongly encouraged to get tested in case the new variant has spread.

    As a precaution, health bosses at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) are carrying out testing on some pupils in key stage two groups.

    A mobile testing unit has also been set up at the school in Keary Road today.

  • Louis Allwood

    ‘Plan C’ rules considered

    MINISTERS are considering 'Plan C' rules which include "table service in pubs" and "vaccine passports in smaller venues", it's been reported.

    The proposals – which would be a step up from the current Plan B restrictions – could be introduced in the New Year if Omicron turns out to be more dangerous than currently believed.

    Under 'Plan C' punters would have to check in with the NHS Covid app to go to pubs and restaurants.

    Face mask-wearing may also extend to all indoor places – including those currently exempt in Plan B, including gyms and pubs.

    Brits may also have to show vaccine passports at more venues – which will be a blow to businesses already facing issues under Plan B.

  • Louis Allwood

    Plan B begins

    Plan B Covid restrictions have been triggered today to battle the lightning spread of the Omicron variant across Britain.

    The PM announced at a press conference on Wednesday that the new measures are needed to help fight off the virus super strain.

    He had hoped to hold off on introducing any more curbs on people's daily lives until January to give Brits a normal Christmas.

    But the spread of Omicron, which scientists fear is three times as infectious as the current Delta strain, has forced him to act.

  • Louis Allwood

    Boris launches probe into party he was accused of attending

    An official probe is to focus on three government staff parties — including one Boris Johnson is accused of attending.

    The PM asked Simon Case, Britain’s most senior civil servant, to investigate alleged gatherings on November 27 plus December 10 and 18 last year.

    Amid a furious backlash from MPs from all sides, the focus will be on the third soiree at Downing Street that sparked the controversy.

    But it is claimed Mr Johnson gave a leaving speech at the November bash.

    Cabinet Officer minister Michael Ellis told angry MPs: “The investigation will establish whether individual disciplinary action is warranted.”

    It has also been suggested a separate event at the Conservative HQ saw staff drink until the early hours and even break a door, with four workers disciplined.

    All of the parties were held when restrictions banned people from meeting up inside in to try to control Covid.

  • Louis Allwood

    How to get around new Covid rules

    New Covid rules mean people can work from the pub with pals from Monday instead of going to the office.

    The farce emerged as Boris Johnson faced more flak over lockdown-busting Christmas parties and dodgy donations for Downing Street decorating.

    Pub boss Adam Brooks said: “With the crazy work from home rules, why don’t workers unite in making our nations’ pubs their offices?”

    Pubs are seizing on the loophole by setting up workspaces with free tea and wifi to entice staff away from kitchen tables.

    And last night the PM was facing his biggest backlash yet over his plans for vaccine passports at nightclubs and sports events.

  • Louis Allwood

    Boris Johnson ‘LIED’ about £113k Downing Street refurb

    Boris Johnson was yesterday hit by a damaging new blow — accused of lying over his Downing Street flat makeover.

    The Electoral Commission fined the Tory party £17,800 for failing to report how money was spent on gold wallpaper and fittings costing £112,549.

    The watchdog said the Conservatives failed to “accurately report a donation and keep a proper accounting record” of cash handed over by Tory peer Lord Brownlow in 2020.

    It leaves the PM fighting on three fronts — with No10 facing fresh allegations over “partygate” and Tory MPs threatening a revolt over the vaccine passports plan.

    Despite the furore, Mr Johnson will take time out at the end of his chaotic week to be with wife Carrie, who yesterday gave birth to a baby girl, and son Wilfred.

    The PM borrowed more than £52,000 for the refurb, paid for via a party loan from Lord Brownlow.

    Earlier this year, Mr Johnson said he had no idea who was behind the loan. But yesterday’s report revealed he WhatsApped the peer asking for more cash.

  • Milica Cosic

    Omicron hotspots

    The UKHSA report finds the following have the highest Omicron cases between November 22 and December 5:

    1. West Northamptonshire, East Midlands: 27
    2. Croydon, London: 8
    3. Hackney, London: 8
    4. Lambeth, London: 8
    5. Newham, London: 8
    6. Brent, London: 7
    7. Buckinghamshire, South East: 7
    8. Greenwich, London: 7
    9. Lewisham, London: 7
    10. Wandsworth, London: 6
  • Milica Cosic

    Where do I have to wear a mask?

    You currently have to wear a face covering in shops and on public transport.

    This also applies to other high street businesses such as estate agents and beauty salons.

    The rules have been extended to include community centres, places of worship, cinemas, galleries and theatres from December 10.

    Here is the government's full list of where you are required to wear a mask from today.

    • community centres (including village halls), youth centres, members clubs and social clubs
    • libraries and public reading rooms
    • polling stations and premises used for the counting of votes
    • places of worship
    • crematoria and burial ground chapels
    • visitor attractions and entertainment venues (museums, galleries, cinemas, indoor theatres, concert halls, cultural and heritage sites, indoor areas at aquariums, zoos and visitor farms, bingo halls, snooker and pool halls, amusement arcades, adventure activity centres, indoor sports stadiums, funfairs, indoor theme parks, casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor play areas including soft-play areas)
    • public areas in hotels and hostels
    • indoor areas of sports stadiums

    Travel chaos for Brits 

    Thousands of Brits could be stuck in isolation over Christmas due to week-long waits to get the result from their Day 2 PCR tests.

    Vaccinated Brits returning to the UK must take a PCR test within two days of arriving in the UK and isolate until they receive a negative result, which in the past has been as quick as 24 hours.

    But one of Britain's biggest travel testing companies has warned there could be week-long delays for results over Christmas, leaving people stuck isolating for the big day.

    Testing company Qured said Day 2 PCR tests with an arrival date between December 20 and January 3 are unavailable.

    In a statement on the company's website, it said: "Standard delivery is unavailable due to postal closures."

    As the problem is a postal issue, similar problems are likely to be seen with other providers.

    • Milica Cosic

      New rules in place

      New laws will come into force in the next week which will bring in the PM's Plan B rules – here's what we know about what will come in and when.

      • On Friday MASK rules will be toughened to include almost all remaining public places like cinemas and theatres. This will be a tweak to the law – with the regulations emerging later today
      • From next Monday WORKING FROM HOME will be advised if you can. But this will be guidance, and not law
      • Next Wednesday VACCINE PASSPORTS will be introduced for crowded venues like nightclubs and footie stadiums. This will be a new law, introduced to MPs next Monday before a vote on Tuesday.

      UK could see 1 MILLION Omicron cases in weeks

      BRITS could be faced with one million Omicron cases in just weeks – sparking fears of a January lockdown.

      Around 568 cases of the variant have been detected in the UK but experts have said the true rate of infection could be much higher.

      In order to curb the spread of the variant, Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night said that Plan B would need to be implemented – urging people to work from home where they can.

      Covid passports will also be required at venues such as night clubs and health secretary Sajid Javid today said that vaccination has to be a ‘positive decision’ for Brits.

      Brits have been urged to get their boosters in a bid to fight Omicron with experts saying the additional jab will combat waning immunity and offer more protection.

      Millions of Brits have already had their boosters and The Sun’s Jabs Army have helped roll out millions of vaccines across the country.

      The top 10 hotspots with Omicron cases

      THE Omicron hotspots have been revealed for the first time, as cases accelerate rapidly across the UK.

      New measures under Plan B have been brought in to battle the super strain, which is doubling in numbers every two to three days.

      On Thursday, the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) published its first report into the severity of the variant.

      It revealed several hotspots located in both rural and urban areas.

      London has emerged as an epicentre for the Omicron variant, which may come as no surprise given its international travel connections.

      UKHSA said the variant is rising fastest in the capital, East Midlands and South East. 

      Airlines have slashed flights

      Even if travel restrictions are eased, several airlines have already cancelled flights for next year.

      British Airways has slashed more than 2,000 flights from its schedule until March.

      The airline has blamed the decision on a reduced demand for air travel as a result of the pandemic, but said it was not as a direct result of Omicron.

      Ryanair has also scrapped flights, with all flights to and from Morocco cancelled until February 1, 2022.

      Then yesterday, the boss of TUI warned that they may be the next airline to cut flights amid travel uncertainty.

      'One rule for them, one for us'

      BORIS Johnson imposed dramatic Plan B virus rules yesterday — as the Tories faced a backlash over last year’s No10 Christmas party.

      The Grinch PM was accused of “one rule for them, one for us”.

      Senior Tory Mark Harper fumed: “Why should people listen to his instructions to follow the rules when people inside Number 10 Downing Street don’t do so?”

      The PM told Brits to work from home again if they can and wear masks at most indoor ­public venues, while ordering vaccine passports and contact testing for Omicron.

      He apologised for the 2020 lockdown-breaking party, and top aide Allegra Stratton quit in tears after footage showed her joking with staff over the bash.

      Speaking at Downing Street, the PM said he had no choice but to impose new curbs.

      Read more here.

      Holiday hope as UK’s travel restrictions could end 'soon’

      The Health Secretary has provided a glimmer of hope, after saying the new rules could end very soon.

      Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Sajid Javid was asked if members of the public should be worried about booking holidays abroad in the coming months, and if more countries will be added to the red list.

      He replied: "It is just not possible to give a guarantee for any particular country that there will not potentially be any future measures.

      "Very soon, in the days and weeks that lie ahead, if, as I think is likely, we see many more infections and this variant becomes the dominant variant, there will be less need to have any kind of travel restrictions at all."

      • Milica Cosic

        You've got to show proof

        The NHS Covid Pass, which can be obtained by having two vaccines or a negative lateral flow test, will be introduced for entry into nightclubs and other large venues.

        People will have to show proof they've been vaccinated or provide a negative lateral flow test from next Wednesday.

        The passes can be downloaded from the NHS app and saved onto mobile phones or saved as a PDF and printed off. They last for 30 days.

        It comes hours after Boris Johnson announced England would be moving into Plan B following a spike in cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

      • Milica Cosic

        Pupils 'strongly advised' to wear face masks

        Pupils, staff, and visitors at secondary schools are also "strongly advised" to wear masks in communal areas.

        But they're not required in the classroom, and are to be enforced at the discretion of individual headteachers.

        Under-12s are exempt from the mask wearing requirement as are those who can't wear them for medical reasons.

      • Milica Cosic

        Explained: Will I need a vaccine passport?

        Vaccine passports for crowded venues will be introduced from next Wednesday.

        This applies more to clubs – and not pubs and restaurants.

        It's due to apply to unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 or any venue more than 10,000 in capacity.

        The NHS pass can still be obtained with two doses and negative lateral flow test also sufficient.

      • Milica Cosic

        Grim Sage documents

        Grim Sage documents, used to help the Government make the call to bring back in restrictions, predicted that if the UK follows South Africa's trajectory the peak will be larger than that of January this year.

        They also warned that even if Omicron is half as severe as Delta, the rise in infections could still pile huge pressures on healthcare settings.

        UKHSA Chief Medical Advisor, Dr Susan Hopkins said: “It is increasingly evident that Omicron is highly infectious and there is emerging laboratory and early clinical evidence to suggest that both vaccine-acquired and naturally acquired immunity against infection is reduced for this variant.

        "It is therefore absolutely critical that we all do everything that we can to help break the chains of transmission and slow the spread of this new variant.

        “Vaccination is critical to help us bolster our defences against becoming severely ill from this new variant – please get your first, second, third or booster jab without delay."

      • Milica Cosic

        Vaccine passports in nightclubs- but not pubs

        Many Brits have been left questioning the rules over vaccine passports – which come into play next Wednesday.

        Under the plan, punters will have to prove they are double vaccinated or that they have tested negative for Covid to enter bars and clubs.

        However, the rules don't apply to pubs – which are sometimes open until the early hours of the morning.

        And both nightclubs, bars, and pubs around the festive season can be as packed as one another – however, there's a big difference in the restrictions that apply.

      • Milica Cosic

        How to renew & access your pass

        You can renew your Covid pass at any time if you are fully vaccinated.

        You simply log on to the NHS app or website to confirm your vaccination status.

        You'll be asked to create an NHS login if you do not have one already. You must be registered with a GP surgery in England to use the NHS App.

        You can download your NHS COVID Pass as a PDF or get it sent you in an email.

        To get your pass, you simply log on to the NHS app and select NHS Covid Pass, with the option of a domestic pass or international travel pass.

        Once you have selected which pass you will need, you will be given the option to add it to your smartphone wallet, or you can download it as a PDF.

        If you live in Wales you cannot use the NHS App to get an NHS COVID Pass, and you must log in via the NHS website.

        If you are in Scotland, you can access your COVID Status through the free NHS Scotland Covid Status app on a mobile device.

      • Milica Cosic

        Eating in restaurants & drinking in pubs

        From Friday, face masks will become compulsory in most public indoor venues, other than hospitality.

        But Brits won't have to wear a mask when dining in a restaurant, because the Government has deemed it "impractical."

        Revellers can continue to eat out and enjoy the festive season without having to wear face coverings.

        Despite having to wear masks in many indoor places, punters won't have to cover their noses and mouths in pubs this festive season.

        Brits can grab a pint with friends and family without needing to wear a face mask.

        Boris Johnson said that hospitality settings will continue to be exempt from mask-wearing under Plan B.

      • Milica Cosic

        Large venues & passports

        Large venues will be required to introduce vaccine passports as a condition of entry under the new measures.

        People will have to show proof they've been vaccinated or provide a negative lateral flow test from next Wednesday.

        The restrictions will cover indoor events of more than 500 people, including venues like nightclubs.

        They'll also apply to "crowded" outdoor events with more than 4,000 people and any event with more than 10,000, including sports stadiums.

        The Government says: "Mandating vaccine-only certification would be preferable to closing venues entirely or reimposing social distancing."

      • Milica Cosic

        Face mask LOOPHOLE

        Despite making it compulsory to wear masks in more public places, the PM admitted that there are exceptions to the rule.

        Boris Johnson said: "There'll be of course exemptions where it's not practical, such as when eating, drinking, exercising or singing."

        The rules on where people have to wear masks are being extended from Friday to cover most public venues including theatres and cinemas.

        Read the article in full here.

      • Milica Cosic

        Rules to last until the end of JANUARY

        FACE masks, vaccine passports and working from home rules are set to last until the end of January.

        Ministers have confirmed that the new Plan B rules will be in place until January 26, when the new laws will expire.

        If they want to extend it, they will have to tweak the legislation, and may have another vote in Parliament.

        There will be a review on January 5, when MPs return to Parliament after the Christmas break, but it's unlikely they will be lifted if there's still rising cases of omicron.

        Source: Read Full Article