Omicron Variant Measures

Plan B Measures: 8th December

On the 8th of December the Prime Minister confirmed that England will move to ‘Plan B’ following the rapid spread of the Omicron variant in the UK.

On Saturday 27 November, the government acted quickly to slow the spread of Omicron while more data was collected and assessed.

The most recent data suggests that Omicron has a very high growth rate and is spreading rapidly.

The new measures introduced with ‘Plan B’ are as follows:

Introducing mandatory Covid-status certificates in certain settings

Covid passports will be required from Wednesday 15 December in England in order to enter some indoor and larger outdoor venues.

This will include proof of vaccination or proof of a negative lateral flow test. The NHS Covid pass will act as a certificate, with exemptions for those unable to get jabbed.

Covid passports will be required for:

  • Access to nightclubs
  • Access to indoor events with more than 500 attendees, such as music venues
  • Access to outdoor settings with more than 4,000 people, such as music festivals
  • Access to all settings with more than 10,000 attendees, for example, sports stadiums.

Use of mandatory face coverings in more locations

Already in England the rules on face coverings have been reintroduced on public transport and in shops.

However, Friday 9 December this will be expanded to hospitality venues such as cinemas, theatres and places of worship.

They won’t be needed in place “where it is not practical to wear one,” like when eating, drinking or exercising – so face masks will not be required in hospitality settings.

Work from home guidance

From Monday 13 December, people should work from home if they can in a bid to reduce the number of people they come into contact with and help stop Covid cases from rising.

Some workplaces are still operating work from home policies left over from the lockdowns of last year.

New Measures: 27th November

On the 27th of November the Prime Minister confirmed new temporary and precautionary measures following the emergence of the Omicron variant in the UK.

The Omicron variant contains a large number of spike protein mutations as well as mutations in other parts of the viral genome.

Urgent work is ongoing internationally to fully understand how these mutations may change the behaviour of the virus with regards to vaccines, treatments and transmissibility.

The new measures introduced on the 27th are as follows:

  • All international arrivals must take a Day 2 PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.
  • All contacts of suspected Omicron cases must self-isolate, regardless of their vaccination status. They will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
  • Face coverings will be made compulsory in shops and on public transport from next week. All hospitality settings will be exempt.